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WSU Raises Wichita Flag On Campus For First Time

Nadya Faulx

Representatives from the City of Wichita and Wichita State University met for a brief ceremony today to raise the Wichita flag on the university’s campus. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that despite the flag's nearly 80-year existence, this is the first time it has been flown at WSU.

The small but momentous ceremony marks a milestone in the relationship between Wichita State and the city. University President John Bardo and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell shook hands and held up the red, white and blue flag that will be permanently displayed on the flagpole in front of Morrison Hall.

Credit Nadya Faulx / KMUW
The flag now flies with the U.S. and Kansas flags in front of Morrison Hall on the WSU campus.

“Our relationship to the broader community is really what is going to make our future or break our future," Bardo says.

Bardo says WSU was founded to serve the people of Wichita as a private college, and while it’s now a state university, the school hasn’t lost touch with its roots.

"We are really in the position that so goes Wichita, so goes Wichita State," he says. "The Wichita flag, designed by a local artist Cecil McAlister as part of a contest, was adopted on Flag Day in 1937. The design has three distinct components, including a Native American symbol for “home.”

Wichita Flag Did-You-Knows:

  • McAlister won $40 for his winning flag design.
  • The flag's three components--a "blue sun," a Native American symbol over the sun, and the red and white rays--represent happiness and contentment, a permanent home, and the freedom to come and go.
  • There were only six original flags made by seamstress Mary J. Harper, known at the time as "Wichita's Betsy Ross."


Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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