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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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FIVE FLAGS (name) The term "Five Flags" has been traced to the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Julien DUBUQUE and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Iowa Territory. Held in 1938, the sesquicentennial/ centennial celebration was organized as a five-day pageant called "Under Five Flags."

From 1673 to 1763 the fleur de lis of the Bourbon kings of France flew over the area of Dubuque. The flag of Champlain, a blue field with three gold fleurs-de-lis carried by Sieur de La Salle in 1682, was used when he claimed the valley of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER for King Louis XIV of France.

From 1763 to 1803 the flag belonging to Spain flew over this region. An exception to this came in 1780 when the flag of Great Britain rose over the MINES OF SPAIN when the British captured them as part of the plan to destroy settlements of French along the Mississippi. The British flag of that time featured a white "X" and red cross on blue. This was known as the "Grand Union" flag.

Spain was given control of lands west of the Mississippi after the defeat of the French by the British in the French and Indian War. The Spanish flag was divided into four rectangles. The lower left and upper right displayed a red lion on a white field. The upper left and lower right featured a gold castle on a red field.

Spain had to cede the territory back to France through terms of the Treaty of San lldefonso signed by France and Spain in 1800. In the treaty France gave the territory to Spain to avoid losing it to England. The fourth flag, again belonging to France, was now a red, white and blue banner.

The fifth flag belonged to the United States that gained control of the territory through the LOUISIANA PURCHASE of 1803. The American flag at that time had fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, one for each of the states.

See: File:A000387 Under Five Flags program.pdf

Under Five Flags Pageant pictures--courtesy of Timothy Ahlgrim (Note: There were no notes on the photographs other than shown.)
Civil War veterans
Aunt Jane Hitchcock. Scene:1861
Mrs. Hennings Scene:1803
Mr. and Mrs. Hennings:
Mr. Hennings
Robert Collins and Harry Hennings
Float honoring Mary C. AGARD and nurses of the Civil War



PDF courtesy of Timothy Ahlgrim