November 13, 2020 — On this date in 1913, a controversy erupted in Sykeston over the whether an American flag had been used improperly. A news story stated, “When the M.E. Kremer & Co. auction sale was started, a government flag was hoisted over the building. During the night some one took down the flag and left a note protesting against the use of the old glory for commercial purposes and calling the action of raising it a disgrace.”

“The incident created considerable excitement here,” the article continued, “and different views are held by the people over the legitimacy of the use of stars and stripes in this manner. The general consensus of opinion was that there was at least no technical violation of the law against using the flag for advertising purposes.

“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepublic.org, subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast, or buy the Dakota Datebook book at shopprairiepublic.org.

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