Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Today is June 14 - Flag Day!

Flag Day has a long history beginning in 1885 with a teacher and students in Fredonia, Wisconsin.  For many years afterward other schools followed suit by planning Flag Day festivities.  Then on May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson officially established Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777.  Flag Day was celebrated for years but it wasn't until August 3, 1949 that President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14th as National Flag Day!  Our nation's flag always proudly flies over campus daily!

Another flag was presented to Tarleton in 1942 by the Tarleton Owls social club - Tarleton's Service Flag shown above!  The August 29, 1944 JTAC gives a history of the Tarleton Service Flag.  At the Owls dinner in 1942 Dean Davis asked the club to make a service flag and present it to the college.

Miss May Jones, Owls sponsor, designed the flag shown above and the girls helped make it.  One big blue star represented all Tarleton boys in service.  The emblems in each corner represented the different branches of the service - the Air Corps, the Army, Navy, and Marines.  A gold star represented each Tarleton student killed in action.  The large white background was bordered with red and fringed with gold.
On Parent's Day in 1942 at the morning service, the Owls presented the flag to the college.  It was one of the most impressive Parent's Day programs ever held and there were at least 800 attendees.  Flags of all nations hung at the rear of the auditorium, with our nation's colors on one wing of the front, and the Owls Service Flag on the other wing.  Governor Coke Stevenson was the guest of honor and gave a stirring speech urging students to stay in college and pursue their work as normally as possible during the war.

The Parent's Day program, and the service flag was a highlight because of the realization of the number of Tarleton students in the service to our country.  At that time the service flag had six gold stars in a circle at the bottom.  By August 1944 the number of gold stars representing Tarleton students killed in action had grown to 66, plus one representing Tarleton faculty member, Col. James D. Bender who also was killed in action.

The Tarleton Service Flag was used in the 1999 Tarleton Centennial display in the Fine Arts Gallery and is a wonderful Tarleton archive!

Happy Flag Day!

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