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)
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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