PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the original State Flag of South Dakota that was missing has now been recovered by the Attorney General’s Office. The Secretary of State’s Office began an internal investigation for the missing State Flag in January 2015, and ultimately reported the missing flag to South Dakota Legislative Audit. On July 15, 2015, South Dakota Legislative Audit referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office. The Division of Criminal Investigation conducted an investigation and recovered the flag from a former Secretary of State employee on October 8, 2015 in Washington D.C.
“The recovery of the South Dakota’s original State Flag preserves an important part of our history for the citizens of South Dakota. I want to extend my appreciation to the Secretary of State’s Office for their assistance and cooperation throughout this investigation. Criminal charges are anticipated to be released in the near future,” said Jackley.
History of the State Flag noted in the 2011 SD Blue Book:
“In 1909 Senator Ernest May of Deadwood came into the Historical Society office. Seth Bullock wanted a state flag. May asked Doane Robinson about it and was told by Robinson that Ida Anding, now Mrs. McNeil, former operator of KGFX radio of Pierre, who was then a stenographer in the Historical offices, would design him a flag. She did. It was a blazing sun, on an azure background. May liked the design, and Senate Bill 208 was introduced. On the floor later, he moved that ‘on the reverse of the blazing sun shall appear the Great Seal of the State of South Dakota in dark blue.’ This was adopted and the bill passed. Money to buy two flags was appropriated. One went to the Secretary of State, and Seth Bullock of Camp No. 1, United Spanish Veterans of South Dakota, got the other.”