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Turcheneske, John Anthony / The Ku Klux Klan in northwestern Wisconsin

Chapter 9: The sheriff and the yellow fringe,   pp. 160-186 PDF (9.4 MB)

Page 161

Unwittingly, the Legion had placed in its booth an 
attraction which was soon to draw the attention of a most controversial element
within the Ellsworth community--the 
Ku Klux Klan. A gift of the Women's Relief Corps, there stood at the front
of the Legion booth an American Flag decorated with yellow fringe. By mid
afternoon a hostile 
crowd gathered demandi-g that the flag be taken down because, among other
things, the yellow fringe was unAmerican. Not the least involved in this
affair was Frank 
L. Baker, Sheriff of Pierce County. His participation in this episode not
only gained the Wisconsin Governor's a+#ev791 and more thaxi county wide
notoriety, but also precipitated 
proceediftgs which nearly led to the SheriffIs reih oval* 
Though there was discussion of the flag affair from the moment of its occurance,
the episode did not come to light in print until a week later. The Ellsworth
Record noted that the late flag fracas at the fairgrotuds  .,was not one
oi tue advertised attractions.,?l During the Ku Kluix Klan-.Lmerican Legion
clash over the gold fringe on the American Flag, it was alleged that Klan
members demanded the removal of the Flag in their belief that the fringe
was out of place. Refusing to comply with their demand, the Legionnaires
continued to display the flag until the closing of the Fair. The evening
of the Flag incident, the Legion contacted the Wisconsin Adjutant General
and was informed 
lmiO-Ii Record, September 23, 1926, p. 1. 

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