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4-H Promotion Compendium: 4-H Supply Service Helps Out The United Nations

A National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility over the Past Century

4-H Supply Service Helps Out The United Nations

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The 1950s had barely begun when hopes for world peace were shattered. North Korea attacked South Korea on June 25, 1950. The decisive action taken by the United Nations aroused the interest and support of many Americans who had previously been unfamiliar with the fledgling world organization or who had felt it to be unworkable. Suddenly, communities wanted to fly the United Nations flag in observance of the fifth annual UN Day.

The National Citizen's Committee for United Nations Day was overwhelmed with requests for flags. Hampered by an inadequate supply and by authorization of only two flag manufacturers, the UN Committee, working through the federal Extension office, turned for help to the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work (later National 4-H Service Committee and National 4-H Council). Would the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work make available materials and patterns for sewing the UN flag? Would 4-H encourage women and girls to make and display the flag as an expression of hope for the world? The National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work would... and did!

The flag kits were available on September 1. And, by October 12, 35,000 orders had been received. The UN flag kits were priced at 50 cents each and contained two hot-iron transfer patterns of complete design; a center design (exclusive of wreath) printed on blue cloth, and directions for making the 3 foot by 5 foot flag.

Eighty patriotic, civic, religious, farm and youth organizations sponsored this modern-day Betsy Ross project and two 4-H girls presented to President Truman the first UN flag made by farm women and girls. All other work of the Committee's small staff had been postponed for a period of six weeks to fill the orders that poured in at a peak rate of over 1,000 orders per day. This project of accepting and successfully filling a request from the United Nations is perhaps one of 4-H's "finest hours" and generated much good will and publicity. For the complete story on 4-H and the UN flag visit:

September 7, 1950 was a momentus day in the history of the United Nations and 4-H when 4-H Club members Mary Ann Long, 19, of Shelby, Virginia and Charlotte Ingram, 15, of Ellendale, Delaware, present a United Nations flag to President Harry Truman as Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt looks on.
This photograph appeared in the October 1950 edition of National 4-H News (Vol. XXVIII, No. 10.)

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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