Did you know, following New Orleans and Shreveport, Bossier City was the third municipality in Louisiana to have an official flag?
By the middle of the 20th century, census figures revealed that Bossier City was the fastest-growing municipality in the state. On August 9, 1951, Louisiana Governor Earl K. Long issued a proclamation changing the municipality of Bossier City from a town to a city. “By this proclamation, ‘A City Was Born,’” headlined in the papers and plans were set in motion for a celebration.
|Proclamation making Bossier City a city|
|Hoffman L. Fuller|
Bossier City's sixth mayor
Initially, the celebration was scheduled for the end of September, but Mayor Fuller announced that the ceremony was postponed, “until the polio situation clears up and the parish schools open.” Before long, it was announced that the celebration would take place on October 16 at the Bossier High School Memorial Stadium dedicated in 1948 to the memory of the local high school students that lost their lives in World War II.
The celebration started with a parade at Fort Smith park and moved through the stadium. Chief of Police Burgess McCranie and State Trooper Capt. H. H. Hollenshead led the parade on horseback. Each parade float reflected one of the chief industries which aided in the growth of Bossier City; cotton, oil, agriculture, and Barksdale Air Force Base (a significant factor in the growth of Bossier City). The parade also included a marching contingent from Barksdale Air Force Base along with Bossier City’s police and fire departments, honor guards, and the bands of Bossier High, Byrd, Fair Park, and BAFB.
There was a pageant of Bossier City written by Ira Harbuck and Kenneth Green, a short history given by Arthur Ray Teague, and Mayor Fuller read the proclamation. Bossier City’s first mayor, Ewald Max Hoyer and Ellen Lowe Sims, a pioneer resident having lived in Bossier City the longest, were both honored in the ceremony.
Bossier City Chamber of Commerce manager Bob Conwell awarded the slogan contest winner, Irene Vinson, for “Next Door Neighbor to World’s Largest Air Base,” a $15 cash prize. Arthur Ray Teague, master of ceremonies, awarded the flag contest winner, Velma Hagert, with a $10 cash prize, who then presented the flag to Mayor Fuller.
|Velma Hagert is holding her entry of the flag of Bossier City|
and Miss Hall, A. R. Teague's secretary holds the entry of
runner-up W. E. McFarland.
|The Official Flag of Bossier City.|
(L to R) Clyde Nelson, Jr., C. L. Madden, Jr., and acting
Mayor John Ford (Times Photo by Langston McEachern).
The flag was raised in the stadium in memory of the deceased high school students that died in WWII: James O. Avery, Luther Bedingfield, William Bedingfield, James Francis Brown, Jr., Robert Edwards, Alfred D. Bond, Harold M. Valentine, Burton McCallum, Jake Maniscalco, Jr., Francis Peters, Jr., Edward Teague, and Sedric White.
This flag remained as the official emblem of Bossier City until 1986 when, through another contest, a new flag design was selected, which has not changed since.
To learn more about the history of Bossier City, visit the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center at 2206 Beckett Street, Bossier City.
By: Amy Robertson