Cape Girardeau celebrates state flag centennial

One-hundred years ago at Cape Girardeau's Oliver-Lemming home, Marie Oliver created the tri-color flag with two bears that is now recognized as a symbol of Missouri.

One of the first flags made by Oliver's hand is on display in Cape Girardeau Friday and Saturday. It was the first-ever Missouri flag to ever fly over the state capitol. Local historians say when Oliver learned did not have its own flag; say she went to work to create one.

"Marie Oliver is the Betsy Ross of Missouri," said SEMO Historian Dr. Joel Rhodes. "She thought it would be a good idea for the state have one so she took it upon herself to do research and put some hard work into it. Then it took several years for the flag to be adopted by the State of Missouri and finally on March 22, 1913 the flag became the official flag of Missouri."

Events Friday and Saturday IN Cape Girardeau will mark the flag's centennial near its birthplace. The flag will be on display at a regional history fair going on at the family life center at centenary Methodist church from 1:30 to 2:30 Friday.

The flag will also be available for viewing when the Oliver-Lemming House opens its doors to the public from 1 p.m. To 4 p.m. Saturday.

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