MU hosts flag signing to end yearlong anniversary celebration
COLUMBIA - For the past twelve months, the University of Missouri put on countless events to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the school, established in 1839.
In those twelve months, a golden flag was passed around at several events.
"The flag was ordered originally to be shown at a basketball game," said Chelsea Fricker, production assistant at MU Department of Student Life. "It was at the Mizzou versus Texas A&M basketball game last year and it covered the Zou Crew section. This past year, it was hanging on Jesse Hall during the chancellor inauguration weekend and family weekend. It's been all over campus."
But, Fricker said, the department wanted to do something for the end of the yearlong anniversary celebration. It ultimately decided to let students, faculty and staff sign the flag, which is 33 feet tall and 27 feet wide.
"The chancellor has been really passionate about looking forward to the 200th birthday, so we thought it would be a cool idea to have current students sign it and then be able to take it to university archives and have it be saved for the 200th birthday," Fricker said.
While the flag has a big "175" and the university's famous six columns on it, Fricker said it wasn't always that way.
"Originally there was only five columns on the flag when we ordered it to go with the basketball game," Fricker said. "We found out really quickly that there was a misprint. We had to send it back to the company, and they had to rush order it back to us, because obviously you can't have a flag with only five columns here at Mizzou."
Fans will have one more opportunity to sign the flag. It will be available for signing February 7 at Mizzou Arena during the men's basketball game at 5 p.m.
After the flag's last showing Wednesday, February 11th, at the Columns on Francis Quadrangle, it will be stored in the university's archives on campus. A photo will also be taken on that day and stored in the archives with the flag.
Fricker said the department hopes the flag will be a part of MU's history.
"It will just be folded up to preserve the flag until the bicentennial where it will be up to the next generation to decide what they want to do with it," Fricker said. "It'll be a cool way for current students to be a part of Mizzou history."
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the most updated information.]