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Friday, December 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Officials consider restricting red flag used by communists and Wobblies

Spokane was considering a new ordinance banning the display of the “red flag” – the symbol of radicals, communists and Wobblies – in any parade, procession or meeting, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 27, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane was considering a new ordinance banning the display of the “red flag” – the symbol of radicals, communists and Wobblies – in any parade, procession or meeting, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 27, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane was considering a new ordinance banning the display of the “red flag” – the symbol of radicals, communists and Wobblies – in any parade, procession or meeting.

City Commissioner J.H. Tilsley said he was proposing the rule after hearing reports from New York of returning soldiers “mobbing” meetings of radicals where the red flag was flying.

“The returning soldiers will not stand for any red flag nonsense,” said Spokane Police Chief William Weir. “… The flag of the United States is good enough for me or any other citizen, and those who can not appear under it had better move.”

From the casualty beat: Several more Spokane men were reported dead in France, long after the armistice celebrations were over.

Corporal Ralph Kramer, “a popular Spokane boy,” had died on the battlefield on Oct. 9, 1918.

Clifford Gallipo, apparently a private, died of pneumonia in an army camp in France. Gallipo was a company cook.

Meanwhile, local families were bracing for more bad news. The 91st Division, which included a Spokane contingent, had still not reported its casualties. This division was expected to be the last division to report its casualty list because it was one of the last to arrive at the front. It could take “another 50 days” to publish the casualty list.

At least one member of that division, Private Roscoe Theis, was missing and feared killed. He had not been heard from since September. An officer wrote to his parents, saying that a bomb exploded in a group of Spokane soldiers, including Theis.

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