Wisconsin now has two Gov. Walkers. Both were in Ripon last week Thursday to attend the 70th annual Badger Boys State Inaugural Ceremony. Gov. Scott Walker arrived via chopper at Ripon College’s upper Sadoff Field at 5:15 p.m. Among those on hand to greet him was his son, 16-year-old Matthew Walker, who three-and-a-half hours later was sworn in as governor of Badger Boys State. Both Govs. Walker spoke to the Storzer Center gym full of boys, families and veterans, and both addressed the same theme: unity. The elder lamented the loss of cohesion the Badger State once enjoyed but that he said no longer exists. The younger offered a physical symbol of his desire to prevent Badger Boys State from being divided. The new governor’s father spent a week in 1985 at Ripon College, where he was a citizen of Badger Boys State. “Twenty-six years ago I sat in your seats in the hot gym,” Gov. Scott Walker told the crowd of about 850 boys. He was elected secretary of state that year, and was one of two boys chosen to represent Wisconsin at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., where he ran but did not win the position of vice president. He returned to Ripon College for three summers as a counselor. His son, representing Wauwatosa East High School, is the only Walker to be elected to Badger Boy’s State’s highest office. Before Gov. Matt Walker was inaugurated, Gov. Scott Walker talked to boys state citizens about the American flag, and how it represents characteristics of great leaders. Symbolizing the original American colonies, the stripes number 13 and have remain unchanged throughout the years, he said. They represent unwavering core principles, he said. “Each of you bring incredible talent. You’re great leaders. You have core principles. ... you are the best of the best. You are the chosen ... I’m optimistic about [Wisconsin’s] future because of the caliber of students here tonight.” The stars, he said, represent the rich diversity of each of America’s states. “Each of you has unique characteristics, whether you represent the Federalists or the Nationalists,” Walker said, speaking of the Badger Boys State’s two fictitious political parties. “You learn how to take those differences and blend them into one great state,” he said. Then he referred to the real Badger state. “That’s one of the things that we’ve lost,” he said, speaking of unity. “We can have differences and still work together for the betterment of our state and our country.” Walker talked about viewing the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial when touring Washington, D.C. as a member of Boys Nation. “You can see your own reflection behind the names [of Americans who died during the war],” he said. “The best way to honor those fallen heroes ... is to make sure a piece of what they fought for is reflected in what you do for the rest of your life.” Gov. Matt Walker’s talk was much shorter than his father’s. He told boys staters that program organizers advised him he could wear a suit or the standard-issue Badger Boys State shirt. The new governor said he thought a tie and coat would send the wrong message. “We’re united by our shirts,” he told the sea of T-shirted boys who elected him governor. Both Govs. Walker received standing ovations from many in the audience.