Columbus to place plaque at Doughboy statue explaining 48-star flag

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

by Leah Justice

COLUMBUS – The Town of Columbus agreed last week to place a plaque at the Doughboy statue near the courthouse explaining why there is a 48-star flag flying there instead of a 50-star flag.

Columbus Town Council met Thursday, July 20 and heard from councilman Mark Phillips who said the idea came up at the flag dedication on July 4. Phillips said the question of why the county is raising a 48-star flag instead of a 50-star flag was asked, and he added that a plaque would explain the historical significance of the flag that is flying.

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House of Flags Museum Director Robert Williamson said this flag raising was rather significant for Polk County. He mentioned the ceremony on July 4, saying there was quite a history lesson given on the Doughboy statue.

Williamson also said there are 27 designs of U.S. flags and it is legal to fly any of the official flags, including the 48-star.

Council approved installing a plaque to explain the 48-star flag. Williamson said he estimates the cost of the plaque to be $200 or less.

The 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering WWI was April 6, 2017. The Doughboy statue was erected in 1925 in memory of those brave Polk County troops who fought and lost their lives in the “War to End All Wars.”

“On July 4, 2017, a 48-star flag of the United States of America was raised over the World War I Doughboy statue,” states information from Williamson. “The 48-star flag flew over our nation, ships and battlefields from July 4, 1912 to July 4, 1959. A 48-star flag will continue to fly over the Doughboy.

“This 48-star U.S. flag hoisted by the Polk County Honor Guard, is sponsored by the House of Flags Museum Board of Directors, on the flag pole erected by the Polk County Board of Commissioners, on Gibson Street with the cooperation of the Columbus Town Council and the Discover Columbus Committee.”