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FLAGWAVER


THE JOURNAL OF GREAT WATERS ASSOCIATION OF VEXILLOLOGY

December, 1997                                                    Vol. II, No.2, Issue 4

GREAT WATERS CAPITAL CITIES:
The Flag of Frankfort, Kentucky

(SECOND IN A SERIES)

    The decision to adopt a city flag for Frankfort, Kentucky  was made because in 1959 the city had erected a new municipal building, and the incumbent City Manager, Russell Marshall, thought it would be appropriate to fly a civic emblem from the new flag pole in front of the building. The idea for a city flag was something of a novelty in Kentucky at that time since only Louisville, Newport, and Prestonsburg had previously adopted city flags. Accordingly, it fell to Mayor John I. Gerard and the four City Commissioners - Ambrose Dudley, Earl Harrod, Harold Jeffers, and Carl Kagin - to appoint a committee to design a new flag.

    The new committee was made up of five local citizens of some prominence in Frankfort: Col. George M. Chinn (ret.  U.S. Marine Corps), of the Kentucky Historical Society; Ermina Jett Darnell, an artist; Eudora Lindsey South, a music teacher; Margaret Brown Sullivan, an artist; and Allan M. Trout,  a journalist. the committee began its work by soliciting designs from the community, but none of the five designs submitted had all the elements the committee had in mind. As a result, in August, 1959, the committee itself undertook to design the flag, and on September, 14, 1959, its design was officially adopted.

    The field of the Frankfort flag is white, so that with its blue and gold charges, it was the reverse of the Kentucky State flag, with gold and white on blue. Centered on the white field is a circle with a gold field, the diameter of which is about 28% of the length of the flag. Bisecting the circle is an S-shaped blue figure, about one-fourteenth the circle's diameter in width, said to represent the S-curve of the Kentucky River that divides the city. In the top half of the circle, in blue, is a depiction of the Old State Capitol Building, representing the past, and in the lower half, also in blue, is shown the New State Capitol Building, symbolizing the present. Surrounding the circle is a gold wreath, in blue, open at the top, to represent the famed bluegrass of Kentucky. The diameter of the wreath is about 40% of the fields length. Occupying the white space between the wreath and the gold circle appears, arched over the top of the circle, the word FRANKFORT, and below, in similar fashion, KENTUCKY, all lettering in blue. Midway between the two words, on the hoist side, is a grey star, and on the fly side, similarly placed a blue star, representing respectively Frankfort's status as a  city in both the Confederate States of America (briefly), and the United States.1  (The gray color is very difficult to discern surrounded by so much blue.) Centered below the wreath, midway between the wreaths edge and the edge of the field, appears the date 1786, also in blue, the year Frankfort was first settled.

    In the upper hoist corner is a circular figure resembling a medallion, the outer edge of which is a blue line, with a narrow gold band immediately within. Depicted in the center of the circle in gold with blue shading is a profile of Daniel Boone, facing the fly. The field of the medallion is white. Boone is commemorated as the discoverer in 1767 of "the fair land of Kentucky," as he described it.

    In the upper fly is a similar medallion with a three-quarter profile of a Boy Scout, in the same colors, facing the hoist. The figure represents the fact that the first Boy Scout troop was formed in Frankfort in 1908. (JP)

1. Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792, the fifteenth state. It was invaded by Confederate troops in 1861, but by 1863 the state was again under Union control. Frankfort was occupied by Confederate troops in September, 1862, when the Confederate battle flag was hoisted over the Old Capitol. Although never officially a state of the Confederacy, Kentucky was represented in the Confederate Congress by a kind of rump government made up of Confederate sympathizers.

GWAV 1999

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