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Worlds Fairs: Portland (Oregon) 1905

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: worlds fair | bureau international des expositions | portland | oregon |
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[Portland 1905 World Fair] image located by Dave Martucci, 24 January 2019

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Description of the flag

Emblem & Flag:
The official emblem symbolized the arrival of the explorers at the Pacific Ocean. In the foreground were the figures of Lewis and Clark, with the Goddess of Liberty marching between them. In the distance was the setting sun and the wave-washed ocean shore. The emblem was greatly admired for its strength and life. The colors of the official flag were red, white, blue, and yellow, a union of the national colors of the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France and Spain, in recognition of their explorations of the Northwest Coast and search for the Northwest Passage. That part of the flag corresponding to the starry field of the American flag was a blue field bearing in white, a flowering grape, surrounded by five stars, representing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, the five states of the old Oregon Country. The remainder of the flag was a square, yellow field crossed by four red bars in the form of a St. George's cross. The bars and  the yellow field represented the five nations above referred to, while the yellow was symbolic also of the Oriental side of the Exposition. In the center, in a circle, was the official emblem in colors.
Oregon Historical Society 1994

The following news article, which appeared in the San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino California, 25 May 1904, page 6, best describes the flag and its meaning:


Design Agreed Upon for the Lewis and Clark Exposition.—Will Be Symbolical of England, France, Spain and Russia.

PORTLAND, Ore., May 24.— An official flag for the Lewis and Clark Exposition has been adopted by the corporation. An order was given today for a large-sized flag of bunting to be made and sent to the St. Louis Exposition, where it will float over the Oregon building.

The design for the flag is in four colors—red, white, blue and yellow—symbolical of England, France, Russia and Spain, the countries which first sent exploring expeditions to the great Northwest. The yellow also brings out the Oriental feature of the Exposition.

The large field is of bright yellow crossed with red bars, with the official symbol of the Exposition, Sacajawa leading Lewis and Clark on the West, in the center.

The small field is of blue. In the center is a spray of Oregon grape, the State flower of Oregon. Around this are five stars, representing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, the States of Old Oregon.

[Portland 1905 World Fair] image located by Dave Martucci, 24 January 2019

Cowan’s better described “… a circular painted panel at center, depicting famed explorers Lewis and Clark, with Sacagawea between them, the American flag draped over her shoulders, trekking westward together into the setting sun.” Looks to me like they have arrived at the Pacific Ocean.

Dave Martucci, 24 January 2019