The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has received a 45-star American flag dating to 1895/1896. Measuring 23.5 feet by 12 feet, the flag was presented Friday morning by donors Jill and Tom Fontaine during the university's annual Veteran's Day recognition event.
In 2008, Jill Fontaine was given the flag by her father, John R. Reynoldson. Reynoldson was a combat veteran and a recipient of both the Silver Star and Purple Heart for action while serving in the Korean War, 1952.
"His goal was to be a career officer until he was critically wounded in Korea and was given a medical discharge. He would probably like seeing a branch of the military honoring the flag," Jill Fontaine said of her father.
The history of this particular flag is unknown. Historians believe due to the size of the flag it would have flown over a fort between 1895/1896. The flag was a gift to Reynoldson from a neighbor in 1967.
Jill Fontaine works at the School of Mines in the cashier's office. Her husband, Dr. Tom Fontaine is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.