I read the headline and then I read the first few paragraphs to read about what
I read in the headline. Instead, boring background. I skimmed for the finding of
the flag and then stopped reading. Either the writer or the headline writer
It looks like we all have more things for Ron Fox to find. The item I would be
interested in is the first flag that flew over Salt Lake Valley on July 26 of
1847, two days after Brigham Young arrived in the valley. It was a very simple
flag with a circle of 12 stars with a much larger star in the middle of the
circle. I understand the flag was displayed at Brigham Young's funeral.
I am disappointed with the Deseret News coverage of the 1903 World Fair. Senator
Thomas Kearns was Utah's senior senator and would have been there, buthe
is not listed in the article.Please have someone look for the U.S.
flag embroidered with George Washington's face.Jennie gave it to T.R. in 1903
when he attended a lavish breakfast at the Kearns Mansion. The Kearns invitedmany dignitaries including Smoot and Smith that day.
According to flag expert John Hartvigsen, the huge U.S. flag "Nan B.W. - 10:28
a.m." is asking about was hung from the ceiling in the Tabernacle for the
statehood celebration. An electric light was behind Utah's star and shone at the
appropriate moment. It was later hung from the side of the Temple tower-to-tower
(it would appear to have been hung backwards from today's flag rules, but it was
perfectly fine in the 1890s). Even then, the weight of the flag was tearing
itself apart. The flag was rolled up and stored in a greenhouse where moisture
and mold got to it. Finally, when the flag's condition was too awful for repair,
it was respectfully retired by being burned.
When I taught Utah history in the 1990s we found a story about a U.S. Flag
(relating this to Leslie C.O. comment)that was also lost. This one was huge, it
was draped across the top of the tabernacle, and required the work of many
seamstresses and designers. It was used for events recognizing Utah statehood as
I recall. Has the flag sleuth searched for this flag, even perhaps located it?
It seemed to my students and me that such a huge flag would be hard to
"misplace." In any case, finding the flag in the story is exciting!
I wish our state flag wasn't so busy and was simple like Texas's flag. Utah's is
complicated but I love it.
My grandmother talks about working on the flag made for Utah Statehood in 1896,
in her life history. She was young (about 10) at the time but helped her
older sister, who was prominent in growing the silkworms and spinning the silk
for this flag. It was finished and sent to Washington DC. Years later, she was
surprised and pleased to see the flag displayed in the Smithsonian Institute in
a display which was titled, "Utah Silk". She went back about a year later to
show a grandson, but the display had been taken down and as they were doing
repairs in that part of the complex, no one was available who knew where this
flag was.She later made a short movie of how they grew the worms and spun
the silk.She was so proud of her ability to have had a small part in Utah
history.The flag they made was not the blue flag shown, but a U.S. flag
with red and white stripes and the white star added in the blue area for Utah.
Has anyone challenged the authenticity of this find before making such a big
deal about it? Maybe we have another Mark Hofmann on the loose...
Good Job. Thanks for all your hard work and the team that found it.We all benefit,
I'm continually amazed at the great historical finds that Ron Fox helps to
unearth. Nice job to him and to Phil's team at State History! Our
understanding of Utah's history is richer because of their tenacity.