Service Flags Return Home

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(L to R): Sen. Schwertner, Francesca Marini, Jelain Chubb (TSLAC), David Carlson, Greg Bailey, Mark Smith (TSLAC), Karen Watson, Gen. Joe Ramirez.

On April 6, 2017 a ceremony was held at the Texas State Library and Archives (TSLAC) where two replica service flags that were created in 1929 were returned Texas A&M University.  The Service Flags were given to the State Senate and House during a visit on May 6th 1929 by of State Legislators to the College. President T.O. Walton presented to Speaker of the House, the Honorable W.S. Barron the service flags and a resolution was read on the House floor on May 29th, 1929 to recognize the contributions of the College and stated that the flag would hang in the House of Representatives.

Service Flags were designed to honor those who served in armed conflict with blue stars representing a family member in service and a gold star to represent each one who had given the ultimate sacrifice.  Organizations of course had much large flags to represent those who had served. , the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas created a service flag in 1918 and unveiled it as part of that years commencement activities. The wool muslin flag measures approximately 12’ 10” x 25’ and has an estimated 1963 maroon stars, rather than the traditional blue, and fifty gold stars.  Campus lore says that is was sewn in the students’ tailor shop in the basement of the Academic Building.  The flag subsequently hung in Guion Hall where Rudder Tower stands today. Over the next few years additional former students were recognized for their service and is reflected the flags that had been given to the State Legislature as they were composed of 2200 blue stars and fifty-five gold stars.

Nearly ninety years after there were given to the State, they return to Aggieland.  Representing Texas A&M University were Provost Karen Watson, Commandant Gen. Joe Ramirez (Ret.), Dean of the Libraries David Carlson, Director of Cushing Library Francesca Marini, and University Archivist Greg Bailey.  Also present were Senator Charles Schwertner and Rep. John Raney, both of whose districts contain Texas A&M University.

The flags were accepted on behalf of Texas A&M by Provost Watson and Gen. Ramirez and will be housed as part of the University Archives permanent collections in Cushing Library along with the original service flag.

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