45-star American flag makes its way home to Utah

45-star American flag
A 45-star American flag found in an Iowa junkyard made its way home and was presented to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 12, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Gov. Gary Herbert’s Office, St. George News

UTAH — A historic, 45-star American flag found in an Iowa junkyard made its way home to Utah Tuesday.

45-star flag
Mary Mommer presented Utah Gov. Gary Herbert with a 45-star American flag found by her late husband, Jack Mommer, in an Iowa junkyard, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 12, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Gov. Gary Herbert’s Office, St. George News

Jack Mommer of Dike, Iowa, was searching for used car parts when he discovered the 15-foot burlap flag in a broken-down van, according to a media statement issued by Gov. Gary Herbert’s Office.

Mommer had planned to present the American flag to Utah – the 45th state – but died of cancer in 2014 before he had the opportunity to do so, according to the statement.

On Tuesday, Mommer’s wife, Mary, along with his lifelong friend, Cary Ruggles, had the chance to present the flag to the state on Jack Mommer’s behalf.

Utah became the 45th state on Jan. 4, 1896. The 45-star banner was the nation’s flag until Oklahoma joined the union Nov. 17, 1907.

For the apparently more than 100-year-old flag to come to Utah in 2016 is timely, as the Beehive State celebrates 120 years of statehood and the Capitol’s 100th anniversary this year.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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