Flag 61

Explorers Club Flags and the History of Flag 61

The Explorers Club flags represent an impressive history of courage and accomplishment and have been carried on hundreds of expeditions by Club members since 1918. To carry the Club flag is an honor and a privilege. It has flown at both poles, from the highest peaks of the greatest mountain ranges, traveled to the depths of the ocean, to the lunar surface, and outer space. A flag expedition must further the cause of exploration and field science.

The first members to carry the new flag were Clyde Fisher and Carvath Wells, who journeyed to Lapland in 1924 while leading an astronomy expedition for the American Museum of Natural History. Today there are 222 numbered flags, each with its own history. Many of the older flags have been retired. A select handful of these retired flags are framed and displayed at headquarters in New York City, including the flags carried by Roy Chapman Andrews, Bob Bartlett, Thor Heyerdahl, Naomi Uemora, and the miniature flag carried by the astronauts aboard Apollo 11.

Flag 61 has been carried on 33 expeditions since its first foray into Colombia in 1935. It has been taken to the polar regions retracing Shackleton, the first polar flights and aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker. It was on mountaineering and caving expeditions on Mt Rainier, in remote parts of China and with wounded veterans to Mt Denali. It has been on expeditions to the Cayman, Cuba, Palau, Falkland, New Guinea looking for caves, cephalopods and other island issues.

Click on the image below for more list of expeditions by year of Flag 61.