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Citadel News Service
6 Nov 2009

Effort under way to bring Big Red home

The Citadel Alumni Association has launched an ambitious fundraising campaign to bring Big Red home.

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Big Red is the official spirit flag of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. The original Big Red flew over Morris Island during the firing upon the Union cargo ship Star of the West by Citadel cadets. The Civil War-era flag with an inward facing crescent was recently discovered in an Iowa museum collection.

“The good citizens of Iowa have agreed to loan the flag to The Citadel. The period of time for this recovery is short and we must act quickly to borrow Big Red,” The Citadel Alumni Association said in a recent message to its members. 

The goal is to have the flag back in time for Corps Day in March 2010 and the 150th anniversary of the engagement on Morris Island in January 2011. The $75,000 fundraising effort got a kick start in late October. As its parting gift to the college, the Class of 2010 donated $5,000 to help bring Big Red back. The money will pay for the artifact’s transport and care.

“This is the spirit flag of the Corps of Cadets and it is important that cadets have a part in bringing it back to campus,” said Cadet Richard Jordan, senior class president. “It was also important that as leaders in the Corps we do something now to give back to The Citadel which has given us so much.”

The new spirit flag, which replaces a similar flag with an outward facing crescent, eventually will be displayed at Citadel events and carried by the Corps of Cadets as a point of pride for college and alumni.

“I am so very proud of the Class of 2010, a class of outstanding young men and women,” said Ed Carter, Class of 1966 and president of the alumni association. “They have led the way in bringing our flag home to the Corps of Cadets. It will forever be their legacy.”

Ted Curtis, Class of 1964 and chairman of the Citadel Historical Council, knows of no other historically significant college flag in the nation.

“By investing their senior class gift to bringing home the flag of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, this class will be forever proud of its own insight to history and the heritage of all classes past, present and future,” Curtis said.

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