Blue stars on a red flag: Remembering SMU veterans

Blue stars on a red flag: Remembering SMU veterans

Honoring SMU Veterans

(* Click image for hi-res version.)

SMU service flag, 1917
SMU service flag, 1917

Closeup of blue and gold stars on SMU's 1917 service flag
Blue and gold stars on SMU's 1917 service flag

Gold stars for 11 students killed during the first World War on SMU's 1917 service flag
Eleven gold stars, representing SMU students who died in
the first World War, on the University's 1917 service flag

The 1924 'World War' memorial at the corner of Hillcrest and University
The SMU World War Memorial at the corner of Hillcrest Avenue
and University Boulevard, presented by the class of 1924

The SMU World War II memorial outside Fondren Library Center
SMU's World War II memorial, honoring the 134 University students
who died during the conflict, outside Fondren Library Center

May 23, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU veterans of the two great World Wars are remembered on campus at memorials in quiet corners and in lovingly hand-stitched blue stars on a fragile wool service flag in the SMU Archives.

In 1917, as SMU students left their classrooms to fight in World War I, a librarian stitched a red wool service flag to honor the soldiers. Blue stars on the flag create a border and spell "SMU." The flag hung behind the reference desk in the one-room library in Dallas Hall, the first building on the two-year-old campus.

After the war ended, she covered 11 blue stars on the flag with gold stars to honor the 11 SMU students who were killed in the war.

The wool flag now is safely housed in the SMU Archives, and the 11 soldiers' names are listed on the "World War" monument near the Perkins Administration Building on campus. The SMU class of 1924 gave the monument long before anyone imagined a second world war.

In a quiet corner outside of Fondren Library on campus, bronze plaques honor the 134 SMU students who died during World War II. The memorial plaza was given in 1999 by SMU alumni Henry S. Miller Jr. '34 and Carmen Miller Michael '45 in honor of their brother, Lt. Jack Miller, a 1941 SMU graduate who was killed in action at Guadalcanal in 1942.

More than 170 current SMU students are veterans as we mark Memorial Day 2014, representing all branches of military service.

Media Contact:

Nancy George
SMU News & Communications
Tele.: 214-768-7650
Cell: 972-965-3769