March 1914 – The Union Of American & Italian Flags

One of the largest celebrations in the city occurred when a symbolic union of the American and Italian flags was inaugurated into the Italian Society of Mutual Aid Giuseppe Garibaldi.  Italians from the surrounding cities who belonged to the order participated. About five hundred people marched as the parade took the following sequence:  First to come were men on horse back, then the Follansbee Garibaldi Society accompanied by an Italian band from Bellaire, Ohio, and led by flag carriers and the officers of the local lodge.  Then came all the members of the Follansbee lodge. They  were followed by the sponsors of the flags in automobiles.  Next was the Christopher Columbus Society of Steubenville, which consisted of over 200 members. They were accompanied by an Italian band from Wellsville, Ohio, and the General Ameglio Society of Wellsville.  The final group was the Romanian Society of Follansbee.

The actual inauguration of the flags took pace at the Eagles’ Hall on Penn Street after the parade.  Joe Zago, president of the local Garibaldi society, was in charge of the ceremony.   The sponsors for the American flag were Mayor Thomas Rogers and his daughter, Elizabeth.   The Italian flag was sponsored by Rev. A. Cremonesi and Mrs. Cremonesi of the Italian Presbyterian Mission.  The official speaker was Rev. Cremonesi.   As they held the flags, Mr. Zago broke two bottles of champagne.  The national hymn for each country was played and the flags were crossed.  Joseph Zago had his horse-drawn wagon decorated in American flags and colors and in it were 40 Italian children waving flags.

  • Mill Towns Review, “Christen Flags With Champagne,” March 27, 1914, front page.