On display Inside the Daviess County Courthouse on the staircase wall is a 45-star flag of the United States. This flag became official in July, 1896, when Utah was admitted as the 45th state of the Union (January 4, 1896). The flag flew for 12 years until July 4, 1908, when Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state (November 16, 1907). Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt all served under the 45-star flag.

By law, a star is added to the American flag on the Fourth of July following the admission of the state. No star is identified with a specific state; there is no law designating the permanent arrangement of the stars. While the 45-star flag officially flew, an organized flag protection movement was begun, and State Flag Desecration Statutes were adopted, outlawing defacement and vandalism of the United States flag.

This particular flag on display was given to Jamesport Memorial Post 4131 by Ethel Langford Hodge in the 1960s. Mrs. Hodge was born in Jamesport and was active in politics throughout her life, working for the State of Missouri under three governors (Hyde, Baker and Caulfield). The Jamesport Memorial Post 4131 closed on July 21 2004, and the post subsequently donated the historic 10’x20′ flag to Daviess County.

The simple wall display at the courthouse was designed by Darryl Wilkinson, then publisher of the Gallatin North Missourian, who also designed informational displays of the courthouse’s antique Seth Thomas clock posted on the building’s main floor. Wilkinson also designed the outdoor setting for the Civil War rifle on the courthouse yard, when the rifle canon was placed on a replica canon mount as an Eagle Scout project completed by Phillip Arnold of Gallatin Boy Scout Troop 67.