FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure will host a ceremony at 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 1 to honor the Historic City Flag and raise the new City Flag at Park Central Square. City Council is expected to formally designate the 1938 flag as the Historic City Flag at an upcoming Council meeting and have it displayed in places of honor throughout the community.
In 1938, Springfield Mayor Harry Durst agreed with citizen Paul Harris that Springfield should have a flag. After submission of 26 designs by Senior High School art students, the City of Springfield adopted an official City flag which remained the City flag for many years. On March 13, 1938, the first official Springfield flag was completed, sewn by Phoebe Hensley, secretary of the Commercial Club. The flag’s design included three historical bars of equal width - one red, one white and one blue - with four five-pointed stars, one star in each of the upper and lower corners of the flag. The red and blue bars symbolized cooperation and civic pride respectively, the white bar symbolized Springfield’s renown for achievements in the areas of religion, homes, education, and industry. Each area was represented by one of the four stars.
Many citizens continue to cherish the flag adopted in 1938. To preserve the history of the 1938 flag and honor the flag for its long years of service, it will be displayed in an exhibit in City buildings, such as Historic City Hall and the Busch Municipal Building and also in the History Museum on the Square and at Central High School. Continuing education about the flag’s place in the City’s history will be provided on the City of Springfield’s website.
An honor guard with representatives from Springfield Police and Fire Departments will do the honors of raising and lowering. The historic flag will be presented to Katie Turer, community outreach & visitor experience manager, History Museum on the Square. Central High School Kilties have been invited to perform immediately following the raising ceremony.
Simultaneously, at 1:55 p.m., all other Historic City flags located at municipal facilities, will be lowered, followed by the raising of the new City flags at 2 p.m. The Historic City Flag in front of Historic City Hall will be permanently displayed in Historic City Hall. The Historic City Flag in front of the Busch Municipal Building will be presented to Central High School for display, with details about the Senior High School student who designed it. The Historic City Flag inside the Busch Municipal Building on the first floor will find a new home in a display case there. Additional Historic City flags will be offered to members of Springfield City Council and any remaining historic flags will be offered to citizens on a first-come, first-served basis.
Springfield’s new flag originated from a proposal by a grassroots citizen group, the Springfield Identity Project, to City Council members about adopting their 2017 design as the official City flag. After review by City Council’s Community Involvement Committee, a community-wide educational campaign, engagement efforts regarding the flag design and a proposal to change the design, the issue was referred to City Council for consideration. City Council approved the new flag design on Jan. 10 in Special Ordinance 27627.
A celebration event for the raising of the new flag hosted by Hotel Vandivort will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Vantage (260 E. McDaniel Street). The event will feature complimentary food, soft drinks and live music by Shaun Munday. In honor of the adoption of the new flag, a fundraiser has been setup through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to support nonprofits aligned with the new flag’s themes of “innovative spirit, connection with nature, Ozarks culture, Route 66 – Mother Road of America; crossroads, for our future and for our home.” Donations are not required in order to gain admission to the celebration, but they are highly encouraged.
Twenty lucky donors will be randomly selected to win a free flag or flag swag!
Selected nonprofits include:
Connection with Nature
- Watershed Center of the Ozarks
- Springfield Regional Arts Council
Route 66 - Mother Road of America
- History Museum on the Square
For Our Future
- Foundation for Springfield Public Schools
For Our Home
- Community Partnership of the Ozarks - Homeless Services Division
All donations will be directed to a single fund at Community Foundation of the Ozarks, after which time the campaign concludes, grant checks will be dispersed evenly to the designated nonprofit agencies. To make a donation, visit cfozarks.org/sgfflagcelebration.
# # #
For more information, please contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].