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Posted on: March 3, 2021

City Presented with Historic Conch Flag

Photo of flag being presented to Commission.

The City was presented with an interesting and significant artifact at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. Darren, Karen, and David Paul Horan presented a long-forgotten Key West High School Conch Flag to the commission.

For many years the flag was flown above the school – the current City Hall – once a year on Conch Day.

According to Karen Horan, the flag was handed down from senior class president to the next class and was signed by class members.

“The names of many distinguished members of this community can be found on this Conch Flag,” she said.

Then the flag went missing in 1949. It was recovered just in time for Conch Day the following year.

“I’m not really sure where the flag was for a long time,” said Horan. But she said someone brought it to a Conch Reunion – a traditional annual event for locals. It got her thinking, and Horan said she wanted to bring together any of the people who had signed the flag. She said she spoke with one KWHS grad, Anita Woodriff, who was one of the original flag-nappers.

“There are so many [names of] Key West families who have made a mark on the city,” said Horan, “so it’s appropriate that its back here at Key West High School.”

She noted that a diorama by Jackne Drudge that is currently displayed at the public service lobby of City Hall shows the building as it was when it was Key West High School. And the yellow Conch Flag flies on that tiny flagpole.

Photo of flag being presented to Commission.

In the photo: Commissioners Gregory Davila and Jimmy Weekley, Mayor Teri Johnston, Karen and Darren Horan, Commissioner Sam Kaufman, Clayton Lopez and Billy Wardlow. David Horan stands behind Commissioner Wardlow and Commissioner Mary Lou Hoover is in attendance virtually on the screens above.

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