Flying a flag carries with it the symbolism of pride along with a strong sense of belonging. So as we celebrate June 14th as Flag Day, proudly fly the Iowa flag (and of course the U.S. flag) as a sign of pride in and commitment to this beautiful state and allegiance to our nation.
The Iowa Flag dates back to 1917. The Iowa National Guard was stationed along the Mexican border during World War I. The members saw that other guard units had State flags and felt that Iowa needed one.
Governor William L. Harding heard about this concern and introduced a design contest for an Iowa flag. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) developed a design and presented it to Governor Harding. The Governor liked their design and it was approved in May 1917 by the Iowa State Council for Defense. It was not officially adopted by the Iowa General Assembly until March, 1921 (March 29th is the official Iowa Flag Day).
The actual design was done by a Knoxville, Iowa resident, Mrs. Dixie Cornell Gebhardt (DAR member). The blue on the left represents loyalty, justice and truth. The white in the center represents purity and symbolizes the unwritten page of history at the state’s beginning when Native Americans lived on the prairie. The red stands for courage. The eagle carries the streamer bearing the state motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”
While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation (May 13, 1916), it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
In a special program recently announced by “Our Iowa” magazine, Iowa flags are being sold. The program is called – “Flags Across Iowa”. It is an effort to build our sense of pride and commitment to Iowa. It is a good way for organizations, business, religious groups, service clubs, schools and youth to show their commitment to and pride in our state. Put on your thinking caps and come up with creative ways to proudly display the flags. Maybe even an Iowa flag festival in your community.
To order a flag go to www.OurIowaMagazine.com, call 515-232-0075 or write and send your check to “Flags Across Iowa”, Our Iowa, 1606 Golden Aspen Drive, Suite 109, Ames, IA 50010.
With the sale of each flag ($18.95) a private donor will contribute $5.00 ($2.50 each) to Keep Iowa Beautiful and Trees Forever. These two entities are effective at helping to improve the beauty and pride we have in Iowa. It is fitting that the $5.00 be used by the organizations to support their work. Buy an Iowa flag and help Keep Iowa Beautiful.