I was really pleased to see this post come through our Iowa Library listserv. Although I like to think of myself as fairly knowledgeable about Iowa history, I didn’t know any of this so with permission I’m sharing it here as guest post. I’m always glad to share the accomplishments of another strong Iowa woman. I would like to offer the correction that while Iowans have long held in the face of all challengers that Iowa is a Native American word of some sort for “Beautiful Land” it’s been pretty well demonstrated that it isn’t true. However, we Iowans besides being Iowa nice, tend to be Iowa stubborn and so we don’t let a little thing by being totally wrong spoil our favorite story and it SHOULD have been what Iowa means, come and see the beautiful land yourself and see if you don’t agree. – SSU
Saturday March 29 is Iowa Flag Day, the 93rd anniversary of the day that the General Assembly adopted a design submitted by Mrs. Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, a resident of Knoxville. Mrs. Gebhardt served as the State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) promoting three objectives:
She wrote, “white stands for the unwritten page of history when the Indians – the first Americans – lived on the natural prairies of Iowa. Red is used to write IOWA, the Indian word for “Beautiful Land.” She also stated that blue stands for loyalty, white for purity, and red for courage. In the center, the soaring eagle carries blue streamers inscribed with the motto “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” (There are many eagles at Lake Red Rock at this time, folks!).
The copyright of the design belongs to the people of Iowa. She has been called “Iowa’s Betsy Ross.”
We plan festivities in front of the library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – carnival rides, free-will lunch, old-fashioned games, pie auction, tour of the Gebhardt house, historic walks, cream pie in the face! Weatherman says the weather should be good. Come join us, if you can.
Knoxville Public Library Director