Today is Iowa State Flag Day. It’s a day in which schools, civic organizations, and the citizens of Iowa are encouraged to display the flag and reflect on and consider its heritage.
That heritage traces all the way back to Knoxville. It was created in Knoxville in 1917 by Dixie Gebhardt, whose home is preserved on the corner of Montgomery and Second Streets near downtown.
Records that Gebhardt kept indicate that the similarity to the French flag is homage to the history of Iowa as part of the Louisiana Purchase. White represents the unwritten parts of the state’s beginning; blue represents loyalty, justice, and truth; red stands for courage. An eagle in the middle carries a banner that shows the state’s motto – “Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.” Iowa was written in red letters below, with the red representing the sacrifice of Iowa soldiers.