The Avenue of Flags
The Avenue of Flags was added to the grounds of Mount Rushmore as part of the celebration of the United States’ Bicentennial in 1976. It was a visitor to the monument who suggested the addition. As you enter the park, the flags line the pedestrian walkway and form a colorful frame for the majestic presidential faces straight ahead.
There are 56 flags on display, one for each state, district, commonwealth, and territory of the United States. Each flagpole also reveals the date that statehood was attained. Delaware was the first state of the Union, granted statehood in 1787. South Dakota was the 40th state to be admitted, over 100 years later, in 1889.
The 50 states and the District of Columbia account for 51 of the flags on display. Search for the other five, and keep the kids on the lookout for your home-state flag. Hint: The flags are in alphabetical order, with the A’s beginning on the Lincoln side of the walkway and ending with W’s on the Washington side.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition