Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

March 25, 2014

Knoxville representatives on hand for Gebhardt Resolution

Heartsill Press

Des Moines — Several Knoxville representatives visited the Iowa Statehouse on Monday, as the Iowa House of Representatives passed House Resolution 121, which recognizes March 23-29 as Dixie Cornell Gebhardt Week in Iowa, and Knoxville as the birthplace of the Iowa State Flag. The resolution passed unanimously. 

Rep. Greg Heartsill introduced the resolution. The focus of his most recent weekly newsletter was on Gebhardt, Knoxville native and creator of the Iowa State Flag. Heartsill's column is pasted below.

Saturday,  March 29, 2014, marks the 93rd Anniversary of the adoption of the Iowa State Flag by the 39th Iowa General Assembly. Our state flag was designed in1917 by Knoxville native, Dixie Cornell Gebhardt.

Ms. Gebhardt, herself being a daughter of a Civil War veteran, belonged to the Mary Marion Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution in Knoxville.  These ladies are credited with the inspiration for our states official banner, thus allowing Knoxville the claim of “Birthplace of the Iowa Flag.”

Last month, Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation declaring March 29, 2014 as Iowa Flag Day.  In addition to the Governor’s proclamation, I also authored House Resolution 121 which not only recognizes Iowa Flag Day, but also declares Knoxville as the “Birthplace of the Iowa Flag” and officially recognizes the week of March 23 through March 29 as “Dixie Cornell Gebhardt week.”

Several dignitaries from the City of Knoxville will be on hand this upcoming Monday when we pass this resolution in the Iowa House of Representatives.  Thanks to the Knoxville Mayor’s Youth Council, I will also be handing out a lapel pin to every Representative in the House chamber that is in the shape of our state, displays the colors of our state flag, and proudly proclaims Knoxville as the “Birthplace of the Iowa Flag”.

Whenever I have an opportunity to give a personal tour to visitors from House District 28 and we have time visit the Governor’s executive office, I make sure to take them to the Lieutenant Governor’s office as well.  The portrait overlooking Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds’s desk is that of Dixie Gebhardt.  It is the very first thing I draw everyone’s attention to when visiting her office.

Typically, I perform a pop quiz on my audience to see if they know who the lady in the portrait is and if they know her contribution to Iowa’s history.  It most cases, the ubiquitous presence of the Iowa flag in the portrait is a dead giveaway regarding Gebhardt’s  impact on Iowa history (I like to think of her as Iowa’s “Betsy Ross”).  However, few know her name and that she is a native of Knoxville, Iowa. My hope is that our efforts to bring awareness to Dixie Gebhardt’s contribution to Iowa history will rectify this situation.  For those school students who have yet to visit the Capitol, be ready with your answer when I pop the quiz on you.

It is my pleasure to announce that the City of Knoxville will be celebrating the 93rd anniversary of the Iowa flag on Saturday, March 29 from 10 am to 3 pm in front of the Knoxville Public Library and the Dixie Gebhardt House (which are next door to one another). The Gebhardt House will be open for touring.  In addition, various family friendly activities will be on the House grounds and a flag raising ceremony will be held at 11 am.  I hope you will make plans to join us in marking this important anniversary in Iowa history.

This coming week on Friday, March 28 I will be hosting town hall forums at the Last Chance Market in Russell at 7 am, the Mosaic Office in Chariton at 10 am, and the Columbia Community Center at 5:30 pm with a chili supper.

Please feel free to contact me with your issues or concerns as they arise.  You may do so either by phone (515-281-3221), e-mail (<>), or when visiting the Capitol.