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Cape Girardeau Celebrates Missouri Flag Centennial


Cape Girardeau celebrated the centennial of the adoption of Missouri’s state flag this weekend with a ceremony and tours of the historic Oliver-Leming House. Marie Watkins Oliver designed the flag there one hundred years ago.

Mary Anne and Bert Kellerman purchased the Oliver-Leming house in 2002 and renovated it.

Historian Frank Nickell says the Kellermans have done a tremendous job renovating the house.

“The Olivers lived here 50 years. The Leming family lived here 50 years. And now the city of Cape Girardeau has this house available to it and it has been secured, it has been stabilized, it has been restored, and it’s now just a wonderful from the past brought into the 21st century,” Nickell said.

Nickell says their efforts have brought the Olive family back to life.

“So it was a hundred years ago this week that the state of Missouri adopted the Oliver flag as the state flag,” Nickell said. “Missouri did not have an official state flag prior to that. ”

A one hundred year old flag left the state archives and travelled to Cape Girardeau this weekend. It was the first flag that flew over the newly rebuilt state capitol in 1913. It flew for one day before it was lowered and preserved.

There was a ceremony on Friday, followed by a dinner that night. On Saturday, the public was invited to tour the renovated Oliver-Leming House.