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Dan Back 06-04-2009 03:58 PM

Delta Queen Flags
We have two flags that flew over the Delta queen. they were donated to the Life On the Ohio museum from the Ann Zieger collection. One is 1980 and one is 1992.

Were the Delta queen flags changed on a regular basis or just when they were worn out?

Bob Reynolds 06-04-2009 04:40 PM

Dan, the American flags were changed as they wore out, and were often repaired in the interim. Various house flags flew over the years, with those being changed at the whim of new owners, new designs, etc. Even some of those house flags were repaired to death, almost, before being retired.

Shipyard Sam 06-04-2009 05:59 PM

Go back another decade and you may find DQ US flags that were flown for a day, marked as having been flown on the Queen, with, of course, an authentic Certificate of Authentication, re-boxed, and then sold in the Gift Shop.

Ann had lots of pals working on the crew, so she had access to many little [I]treasures [/I]such as well-worn, oft-patched flags, and other "goodies" that the average pax did not.

Judy Patsch 06-04-2009 06:42 PM

Jackstaff flags
The NATCHEZ uses an old beatup Union Jack flag in bad weather - I can't remember, did you put up an old flag/pennant in bad weather on the DQ?

Dan Back 06-04-2009 07:35 PM

That is what I thought. Both flags are shredded and full of soot.
We are doing a historic flag display at the Switzerland County Historical Society Museum and we wanted to include these flags. One is signed by Capt Blume (1980) and the other is signed by Capt Davitt (1992). I am sure both flags flew over many thousands of miles of the river.

Bob Reynolds 06-04-2009 07:52 PM

No. In fact, some of the worst weather I was ever in was with you close Lake Cooper on the Presidential Cruise. We were flying the official Flag of The President of The United States, and it sure took a beating, but did not get tattered. The line snapped, though, and I have a photo of me and Millard _________ (?) (a Coke New York executive) and his wife holding the flag up before I got it put back up.

Keith Norrington 06-05-2009 07:10 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I have one of those American flags from the DQ, signed by Capt. Wagner and dated 1972, along with the certificate. As shipyard mentioned, they sold them in the gift shop on the DQ and I think the price was $20. Back in "my era" on the DQ, we didn't put any flags up in the morning if the wind was strong and/or it was cruising day and we wouldn't be stopping at any towns. Wind quickly wears out flags and turns them to tatters!

When the Str. BECKY THATCHER was sold away from St. Louis to Marietta in 1975, one of the items remaining aboard from Ruth Ferris' Midship Museum was the last American flag flown on the Str. GOLDEN EAGLE and rescued after the sinking in May, 1947. Well, the new owners of the BECKY enlisted a troop of boy scouts to do some clean up work on the boat, disposing of trash, etc. Those boys spied that old flag, full of soot from the GOLDIE's stacks and immediately decided that it MUST be taken out on the bank and ceremoniously burned! I know that's the proper disposal for a flag and the boys were well intentioned, but THAT ONE was a steamboat artifact that should have been saved!!! By the time somebody "in the know" found out about it, the old flag was long gone.

Herewith is a photo, taken in the museum aboard the BECKY in November, 1970, just after Ruth retired and the room was was being dismantled, with some artifacts already removed, to enlarge the gift shop. The GOLDEN EAGLE flag is visible in the corner beside the rolltop desk that was used by Capt. Donald T. Wright in the offices of The Waterways Journal.

(2) Flag from GOLDEN EAGLE and "R" from stern of RIVER QUEEN, salvaged after 1967 sinking at St. Louis. Also RQ Menu cover & Eagle Packet Co. deck plan.
(3) Stern of RIVER QUEEN when at Bradenton, FL (1950's). The wooden "R" was either the beginning or the end of RIVER!

Judy Patsch 06-05-2009 08:47 AM

More flags
2 Attachment(s)
My DQ US flag signed by Capt. Jim Blum is hanging on the stairwell up to the main museum rooms... Picture 1 shows the portion of the jack flag from the NATCHEZ, which was my very first NATCHEZ souvenir. Attached to it is a picture of Doc trimming it off on Jan. 1, 1983. The second picture shows the 'wall' of flags which lines the way to the main museum rooms(and partially hides the junk in the attic). From left to right: Jack and roof flags from the PRESIDENT Casino, courtesy of Capt. Joy Manthey; old French, Spanish Castille y Leon, and Louisiana state flags, all from the roof of the NATCHEZ, courtesy of Doc and Capt. Steve Nicoulin.

Keith Norrington 06-05-2009 09:45 AM

More flag brag: Thanks to Judy's continuous generosity, I have a jack flag from the PRESIDENT and an American flag from the NATCHEZ -- to go along with the Corps of Engineers flag from the M/V IROQUOIS and another American flag from the DQ.

Virginia Bennett had the largest collection of boat flags I ever saw, including many pennants from towing companies. Over the past decade she has donated many of them to the Golden Eagle River Museum collection (now at Cape Girardeau), the Howard Steamboat Museum, the Point Pleasant River Museum and elsewhere.

Shipyard Sam 06-05-2009 12:04 PM

No Fair Weather Flags
Sometimes I made my own flags for special occasion, as I am a "flag nut" and love to see 'em flying. I must admit that I cut out the Union of a worn out American flag, or two, and made them into Union Jacks. A grommet kit was an necessary tool to make the the second reinforced hole, and one could be found, either, in my room or in the Mate's Locker.

Who knows: If the Stars are the Union, what are the Stripes called?

By the way, it was my idea, in the spring of '71, to put all those flag poles on the roof of the DQ. In college, I was always on the Color Guard and also had to hoist the colors every morning. One morning as it was raining buckets, I rolled back over in bed instead of going out into the driving rain to raise the flags, when the Colonel called and demanded to know why the flags weren't up.
[I]But Sir, it's storming.[/I]
[I]Listen. America is [U]not [/U]a fair-weather country. Get 'em up. NOW![/I]

Since then, unless 30-plus mph winds are forecast, I keep my flags flying. That's why they were built. Nothing is prettier than a flag starched-out in a stiff breeze.

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