June 25, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
World’s ugliest dog retires to Penngrove Police Officer Wardle receives MADD award RP looking for applicants Weeds, just the tip of the iceberg Local election results: Supervisors hold their seats and Regional Measure 3 passes Opinion editorial SSU counselor being remembered as energetic and hard-working Domestic violence case leads to vehicle pursuit A sea of flags wave proudly in the breeze Unclear whether Chili’s data hack affected Rohnert Park location RP Dept. of Public Safety holds community meetings Memorial Day stories of veterans: Jim Steiner and Richard Vogel Police say hate crimes in Sonoma County are uncommon Julia Guerrero RP Health Center gives free food on Mondays Clerk-Recorder’s office launches new self-service website Rohnert Park residents urged to participate in community survey Housing relief for SSU staff Making quality improvements to news stands Cotati Chamber of Commerce The Little Engine that Could (and does!) Clerk of the year for performance during October firestorm Cotati gives the go-ahead “Coffee with a Cop” at Johnny’s Java Thoughts of the day why the pledge? Welcoming new staff and board members Cotati looking for input on park improvements Cotati dispatchers recognized State of the City with Cotati Mayor Mark Landman Roundabouts in California and Rohnert Park Debris moving brings environmental concerns An introduction to Devil Pups Cotati recognizes April as sexual assault awareness month CDPH warns not to eat sport-harvested bivalve shellfish Pedestrian safety enforcement Home Care Assistance Sonoma County Future Chefs events at Lawrence Jones school University Elementary School performs Charlotte's Web Urban farming & backyard sustainability teach-in Northwestern testing will bring noise to train tracks Sonoma County DA to expunge prior cannabis convictions RPPS use Narcan to combat opioid overdosing Jusdon Snyder's proclamation as a citizen of Rohnert Park RP resident threatened with gun Petaluma Sunrise Rotary sets challenge for May 19 Proposed RP land projects bring preservation concerns Study completed by Penngrove engineer for proposed Sebastopol trail New Board of Directors -CASA Outlook for RP economy looks good

One famous flag

By: Irene Hilsendager
June 8, 2018

The Challenger flag is an American flag that was in the flight kit of the final, disastrous Challenger mission. It was sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 514 of Monument, Colorado. Their Scoutmaster was William Tolbert, a major in the United States Air Force assigned to the Space Command.

William Tolbert had ordered the flag from the Valley Forge Flag Company and had arranged for the flag to be flown briefly over the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 25, 1985. It was submitted to the NASA Johnson Space Center by the Second Space Wing, for flight on a space shuttle. On January 28, 1986, it was carried in the “official flight kit” of the Challenger space shuttle on its last flight. It was sealed in plastic and was next to some souvenir medallions being flown by one of the Astronauts. As the Challenger wreckage was brought up from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, rescuers found this flag, still in its sealed plastic bag, intact and completely unscathed. The souvenir medallions had melted into a single lump.

On December 18, 1986, the Challenger flag was returned to Boy Scout Troop 514 in a special ceremony attended by 100 dignitaries, guests and members of the media, at the Consolidated Space Operations Center, Falcon Air Force Station, Colorado. Astronaut Guy Bluford, who had flown on board the Challenger on two previous missions and who is also an Eagle Scout, returned the flag to the troop.

Early in 1987, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger designated the Challenger flag as the official flag of the ceremonies commemorating the United States Constitution bicentennial and he invited the troop to participate in the bicentennial gala in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1987, the flag was part of a parade through the streets of Philadelphia and that evening it was presented on the stage of the Philadelphia Civic Center Hall as part of the opening ceremonies. The celebration was attended by an audience of 13,000 people.

On September 18, 1987, Boy Scout Troop 514 went to Washington, D.C. where the Challenger flag was flown once again over the United States Capitol—the first flag to have ever been returned to be re-flown.

In 2002, the Challenger flag was loaned to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be displayed in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympic games. 

Troop 514 is still in possession of the Challenger flag. They continue to display it for certain special public events and Eagle Courts of Honor.