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|Exhibition Copy||University of California - Santa Cruz
Board of Councilors Meeting, Rare Flags Exhibit
Santa Cruz, CA
7 June 2012
Santa Cruz, CA, June 7, 2012: The Zaricor Flag Collection exhibited 34 flags and artifacts at the University of California Santa Cruz Campus for the Board of Councilors Meeting.
U.S. 50 Star Apollo 14 Flag
First Flag to Moon and
Return to Earth
Media: Printed rayon, paper & cardboard.
Comment: This 50 Star United States Flag is one of only two flags placed on
the lunar surface and returned to Earth. Astronaut Captain Alan Shepard, USN
took the flag to the lunar surface in the Apollo 14 Lunar Module, during the
third successful lunar landing, at the request of his friend, Mr. Brad Washburn,
Director of the Museum of Science in Boston, MA.
Director Washburn eschewed the small U.S. flags traditionally carried in the
Apollo missions Official Flight Kits, and wanted to acquire a large Moon flown U.S.
flag for his museum. He provided two large, private purchase, United States flags to
Capt. Shepard, carried these, along with a Wilson six-iron golf club head intended
for some lunar golf, in his Personal Preference Kit.
During one of the periods of Extra Vehicular Activity, he was able to display
this flag on the surface of the Moon, and for posterity, "post-mark" the flag from
the Moon by creasing it with the Apollo 14 Mobile Equipment Transporter (MET)
tires, which created the undulations seen on the flag.
Thus, this and the 2nd Apollo 14 flag, which Alan Shepard took for his
friend to the Moon in January 1971 and post-marked this flag with the treads
of the lunar MET, are the only flags to be displayed on the surface of the moon
and then returned to earth. This is a truly celestial flag from one of the greatest
astronauts of the time.
Provenance: Acquired in 2007 by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC2521), from
The Naylor Collection, who acquired it from Brad Washburn who had provided it
to Alan Shepard; via Guernsey's Auctions, New York, New York.