Hyrum’s Elite Hall will play host to 50 flags ranging from the Colonial Era through present day, during the city’s Fourth of July festivities.
The flags will be on display from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Elite Hall, located at 83 W. Main St. in Hyrum.
The display is a collaboration with the Passport to Summer Fun activities sponsored by the museum that kicked off with Hot Wheels and Hot Dogs event in June and the Elite Hall Restoration Committee’s efforts that are being undertaken to repair the historic dance hall.
“We are trying to do something a bit more patriotic that engages people after the parade,” Steve Downs said. “We did a smaller version last year, but this year we included Elite Hall to showcase the restoration efforts we are undertaking here.”
The 50 flags are part of Downs’ collection that he began collecting in the 1980s during his time as a Scout leader. Over the course of time, the Hyrum resident has amassed a collection that encapsulates flags from the 20th Maine and other regimental divisions along with a flag representing Utah’s statehood.
One of the unique things Downs points out about his flags is that many have irregular star fields, because up until 1912, there were no specifications for the production of the American Flag.
“Up in until 1912 nothing was defined. Everyone made their own arrangements or they added stars whenever a state was added. They would go and sew their own on,” Downs said. “There will be placards out to identify the flags and what their historical significance is along with some museum staff to help with questions.”
Museum Director Jami Van Huss said the event will serve three purposes as it highlights the restoration efforts, raises funds for improvements, and provides a summer activity for the children participating in the passport event.
Children can get a Passport to Summer Fun stamp for attending and looking through the variety of flags presented in the entryway of Elite Hall as they wrap up with parade activities.
“Last year we started this as one of our passport events. We had about 12 to 18 flags last year and it was a big hit. The adults seemed to enjoy it quite a bit,” Van Huss said. “We felt it was a perfect opportunity to highlight what we are doing here for the restoration.”
On Monday, which will provide information about the projects, along with a history of the building and a place for people to donate to help support the endeavor.
Van Huss said the committee is excited to finally have the website up and running because it will allow people who are connected to town who may not live there anymore to see what is going on.
“We have our ducks in a row for the restoration, and now we just need to get some money and move forward to get started on the exterior,” Van Huss said.