Measuring over 15' high and 10' wide, Piatt County's World War I Service Flag has over 1,002 blue stars and 13 gold stars sewn in the field of white. Located in central Illinois, Piatt County was formed in 1841 and during World War I, many of the local men volunteered for service.
With assistance from the Piatt County Historical Society, the origin of the Service Flag was discovered in a November 21, 1918 article written in the Piatt County Republican newspaper. In full it read:
Monday a new service flag of the county was hung in the corridor of the court house. The flag was presented to the county by Cloyd Dubson of Mattoon, a former resident of the city. The flag is 10x15 feet and in the center field has 1002 blue stars and on the red border 13 gold stars. At the top in gold letters are A & N, at the bottom the words "For Democracy". Mr. Dubson has been specially interested in the Piatt County boys who were in service and earlier in the year had presented a smaller service flag to the Historical Society. When one of the first contingents went, one of which his nephew was a member, Mr. Dubson presented them each with a testament and also a large flag to carry"
Of the 13 Gold Stars sewn at the top of the service flag, seven are in honor of the following:
· Private John P. Ditty, U.S. Army- Bement, IL. Killed in Action on September 12th, 1918 in France.
· Private First-Class Kelso M. Graver, U.S. Army- Mansfield, IL. Died of wounds on October 25th, 1918 in France at Base Hospital #64.
· Private Herbert Halterman, U.S. Army- Bement, IL. Killed in action on October 6th, 1918 in France.
· Private Roy W. Hamm, U.S. Army- Monticello, IL. Killed in action on September 29, 1918 in France.
· Corporal Charles E. Larson, U.S. Army- Deland, IL. Died of wounds.
· Corporal Lyman H. Martin, U.S. Army- Mansfield, IL. Killed in action in France in 1918.
· Sergeant Albert H. Parker, U.S. Army- Bement, IL. Killed in action on October 4th, 1918 in France. Sergeant Parker was awarded the French Croix de Guerre