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The Flags Over Corydon site is located at the corner of South Capitol Avenue and West Poplar Street. (click for larger version)

Corydon display features 35 flags


Celebrating Statehood


February 05, 2014 | 11:10 AM

There have been 35 different flags fly over Corydon during the town's history.

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(click for larger version)
The colorful, commemorative Flags Over Corydon site is located at the corner of South Capitol Avenue and West Poplar Street, across from Alstott's Hardware and just north of the Harrison County Fairgrounds. The 35 flags on display flew over the Corydon area at one time. The specially made flags are owned and displayed by the town of Corydon during weekday business hours when weather conditions are favorable.

A stone marker on the northeast corner of the site lists the name of each flag and the years each flag flew over Corydon. The flags are arranged in chronological order, beginning with the earliest flag located on the northeast corner of the lot. Interpretive, eye-level signage, providing historical information about each of the flags, as well as local, state and national events during the time period, including the addition of new states to the union, is affixed to each flagpole. French, British, Confederate and American flags are included in the display.

Flag name, dates, description (the majority are red. white and blue unless otherwise indicated) and significant events include:

•French Royal Flag (1370-1600) — Blue with three gold fleur-de-lis used by French explorers Verrazano and Cartier.

•French Merchant Flag (1661-1790) — White cross on a light blue field with royal arms in the center used by French explorer Samuel de Champlain.

•Royal Flag and Ensign of France (c. 1679) — White background with the entire arms of France strewn with fleur-de-lis used by Robert La Salle when he entered northern Indiana near South Bend.

•British Red Ensign (1663-1707) — Red background with Union Flag in upper left corner used by Great Britain's merchant and war vessels.

•Union Flag of Great Britain (1707-1801) — Combines the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew, showing that England and Scotland had one common ruler.

•Continental Colors or Grand Union Flag (1776-1777) — Thirteen alternating red/white stripes representing the original 13 colonies with Union Flag in upper left-hand corner.

•Fifteen Star Flag (1795-1818) (RWB) — Fifteen-stripe flag which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star-Spangled Banner." Vermont (14) and Kentucky (15) admitted.

•Twenty Star Flag (1818-1819) — Flag Act of 1818 returned the flag to 13 stripes. President Monroe and Gen. Andrew Jackson visited Corydon in 1819. Five states added: Tennessee (16), Ohio (17), Louisiana (18), Indiana (19) and Mississippi (20).

•Twenty-One Star Flag (1819-1820) — New capital site selected and Illinois (21) admitted.

•Twenty-Three Star Flag (1820-1822) — Alabama (22) and Maine (23) admitted.

•Twenty-Four Star Flag (1822-1836) — State capital officially moved to Indianapolis. Missouri (24) added.

•Twenty-Five Star Flag (1836-1837) — Arkansas (25) admitted.

•Twenty-Six Star Flag (1837-1845) — Abraham Lincoln's uncle, Josiah, settled in northern Harrison County, William Henry Harrison was elected ninth U.S. president and Michigan (26) admitted.

•Twenty-Seven Star Flag (1845-1846) — Explorer John C. Freemont explored western lands and Florida (27) admitted.

•Twenty-Eight Star Flag (1846-1847) — Mexican War and Texas (28) admitted.

•Twenty-Nine Star Flag (1847-1848) — New Mexico and California became U.S. territories and Iowa (29) admitted.

•Thirty Star Flag (1848-1851) — California Gold Rush and Wisconsin (30) admitted.

•Thirty-One Star Flag (1851-1858) — New Indiana constitution approved and California (31) admitted.

•Thirty-Two Star Flag (1858-1859) — "Dixie" written by Daniel D. Emmett and Minnesota (32) admitted.

•Thirty-Three Star Flag (1859-1861) — First Harrison County Fair took place and Oregon (33) admitted.

•Thirty-Four Star Flag (1861-1863) — Civil War rages as Kansas (34) admitted.

•Thirty-Five Star Flag (1863-1865) — John Hunt Morgan led "Morgan's Raiders" into Corydon and raised the Confederate Flag. West Virginia (35) admitted.

•Stars and Bars Confederate Flag (1861-1863) — First Confederate flag features two red horizontal stripes and one white with a circle of eight white stars on a blue field in left corner.

•Confederate Battle Flag (1863-1865) — White field with the Confederate Battle flag in upper left.

•Thirty-Six Star Flag (1865-1867) — Alaska purchased from Russia. Nevada (36) admitted.

•Thirty-Seven Star Flag (1867-1877) — Gubernatorial candidate Benjamin Harrison and Gen. Lew Wallace visited Corydon. Nebraska (37) admitted.

•Thirty-Eight Star Flag (1887-1890) — Devin and Tennyson were hung off the West Bridge and Colorado (38) admitted.

•Forty-Three Star Flag (1890-1891) — North Dakota (39), South Dakota (40), Montana (41), Washington (42) and Idaho (43) were admitted.

•Forty-Four Star Flag (1891-1896) — Walter Q. Gresham served as U.S. Secretary of State and Wyoming (44) admitted.

•Forty-Five Star Flag (1896-1908) — Robert Tracewell served as controller of the U.S. Treasurer and Utah (45) admitted.

•Forty-Six Star Flag (1908-1912) — 50th Harrison County Fair took place and Oklahoma (46) admitted.

•Forty-Eight Star Flag (1912-1959) — Flag used in World War I, World War II and the Korean conflict. New Mexico (47) and Arizona (48) admitted.

•Indiana State Flag (adopted 1917) — Blue field with gold stars. Large star above the torch represents Indiana, the 19th state.

•Forty-Nine Star Flag (1959-1960) — Centennial Harrison County Fair took place. Alaska (49) admitted.

•Fifty Star Flag (adopted 1960) — Hawaii (50) admitted.

The official flag of Corydon is also on display at the north end of the exhibit. It features a dark blue horizontal stripe against a gold background, the same colors as in the Indiana state flag. An outline of the state of Indiana is in the middle of the flag, and a drawing of the First State Capitol is in its center. On the blue band it says "Corydon" on the left side and "Est. 1808" on the right. The Corydon Town Council officially adopted the flag on April 24, 2000.

Karen Schwartz, president of the Historical Society of Harrison County, serves on the legacy group of the Harrison County Committee for the Indiana Bicentennial. In preparation of Indiana's bicentennial in 2016, she is providing a monthly column — focusing on a person, place or event from Harrison County's history — that gives insight to our history. She said the columns should serve as an introduction and/or summary of a topic but are not intended to include all known facts and information. To suggest a topic, contact Schwartz at 736-2373 or 738-2828, by e-mail at karengleitz@hotmail.com or by regular mail at 5850 Devil's Elbow Road NW, Corydon, IN 47112.

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email