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AlTex1964

Hoisting and lowering of the flags - Morning and evening

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Does anyone know if the National flags (and other flags?) were raised every morning and lowered every evening?

Was Sunday included in this routine?

If so, what times were the flags raised and lowered?

Was it the responsibility of each national pavilion etc - or were they all done by the fair organizers?

Was there a ceremony on each raising and lowering?

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The flags pretty much seem to be up in the night time shots I have. These would be the ones lining the streets; I never really looked at the individual pavilions, which I'm guessing was controlled by the pavilion staff.

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the reply. I attended the New York World's Fair on just one day, sometime from Saturday, the 20th June 1964 to Monday, the 22nd June 1964. I wanted to try to work out precisely which day and I wondered if there could be a clue in the photo (attached), taken just before we left the fair. I measured one shadow in the picture as 87 mm long, from a vertical height of 83mm - therefore the angle of the sun must have been just less than 45 degrees, above the horizon, at the time the photo was taken. I'm sure someone can work out the time from that. So, I wondered if the flags had been lowered in the evening, just before the photograph was taken.

Then I wondered if the flags (international), that would normally have flown at these flagpoles, may not have been raised at all on this day - possibly because they were being washed (but surely they had a spare set for that) - or possibly the international flags may not have been hoisted on a Sunday.

Can anyone help with this mystery?

post-4062-12562339881_thumb.jpg

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... I attended the New York World's Fair on just one day, sometime from Saturday, the 20th June 1964 to Monday, the 22nd June 1964. I wanted to try to work out precisely which day and I wondered if there could be a clue in the photo (attached), taken just before we left the fair. I measured one shadow in the picture as 87 mm long, from a vertical height of 83mm - therefore the angle of the sun must have been just less than 45 degrees, above the horizon, at the time the photo was taken. I'm sure someone can work out the time from that...

In another thread

http://www.worldsfaircommunity.org/index.php?showtopic=7949&view=&hl=sleuths&fromsearch=1

we analyzed a picture that included one of the clocks. This allowed us to pinpoint the date. In your case, the date is not known exactly, but close enough to figure the approximate time of day. It would be close to impossible to get both an accurate date and an accurate time of day, though.

An angle of 45 degrees on June 21 occurs at about 8:30 am and 3:00 pm STANDARD TIME, i.e. 9:30 am and 4:00 pm Daylight Saving Time

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Thank-you, very much,Wayne, for this information and the links to carry out further, more detailed research. We are all walking sun-dials. It is amazing how much you can discover about the time of day, on a known date, from a photo with shadows at a right angle to the photographer (or any shadow as long as you can determine the height of the object making the shadow and the length of the shadow by reference to its position in an accurate plan - of which there are many at the 1964 NYWF). All you need to do is calculate the angle of the sun above the horizontal (the 'altitude' of the sun) on that particular date, and then you can look up the time from the charts in the US Navy link - http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/AltAz.php . In the same way, you can discover the compass-bearing for the sun at that time, under the 'azimuth' data in the US Navy link.

You also need the geographical co-ordinates of the photograph. These can be obtained from http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/ . The co-ordinates for the The Unisphere are Latitude: 404447N and Longitude: 0735043W.

You could also, discover the time a photograph was taken, if the date was known, from a calculation of the compass-bearing of a shadow, (calculated from an analysis of the position of a shadow in relation to features in the photograph, compared to the same features in an accurate plan).

Also, as you previously found, you can discover the date from a calculation of the angle of the sun above the horizon, as long as you know the time (and half-year segment of a particular year) in which a photo was taken. You can also do this from the compass-bearing of the shadow in the photograph.

Getting back to my mystery, using a large print-out from a cropped jpeg of my 'mystery photo', I measured the height of my Father's image (155mm) and the length of his shadow (166mm maximum) (fortunately this shadow was approximately at a right angle to the photographer). I then used basic trigonometry (re-learned from the internet), using 'tan' calculations (A 'right angle' is formed between the shadow on the horizontal avenue in the 'Court of Nations', relative to a line drawn vertically from the apex of my Father's head to an imaginary point on the avenue). This point, marked on my jpeg print-out, served as the start point for the measurement of the length of the shadow. This angle does not appear as a right angle in the photograph, because the shadow is not exactly at a right angle to the direction of the camera lens, but in this case, and considering the wide angle of the lens, I regard that error as negligible.

The altitude of the sun above the horizontal, at the time of the 'flag-less' photo, on the afternoon of Sunday, the 21st June 1964, (or the day before or the day after - negligible difference at the summer [or winter] solstice) was thus calculated as 43.037 degrees. I recalculated, using a shorter re-measurement (163mm) of the shadow (margin of error) to get 43.558 degrees. I settled on 43.3 degrees for the purposes of looking up the time in the US Navy tables. Conclusion, the photograph was taken at 4:26 pm Eastern Daylight Time, give or take a few minutes - it really is that accurate. I knew the photograph was taken in the afternoon (as opposed to the morning, because it was the penultimate photo in the film and we had all of our bags of goods etc.), so I was able to distinguish the afternoon 43.3 degree altitude of the sun, from the morning 43.3 degree altitude of the sun. Also, using the 'azimuth' data in the US Navy charts, I was able to confirm that the sun was at compass-bearing (ignoring magnetic-north variation) of 264.8 degrees (due-west would be at 270 degrees - the sun reached due-west 30 minutes later at 4:56 pm E.D.T.). So the direction of the shadow, relative to the known layout of the 'Court of Nations', confirms that the photograph was taken in the afternoon.

Back to the mystery again - there is no way that the National flags in the 'Court of Nations' would have been taken down, for the end of the day, as early as 4:26 pm E.D.T., so, I conclude that the flags were taken down for some other reason - and probably were not hoisted at all on the day I visited the New York World's Fair.

SO, WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION?

Were the flags missing on Saturday, the 20th June 1964?

Were the flags missing on Sunday, the 21st June 1964?

Were the flags missing on Monday, the 22nd June 1964?

When did the National flags come down - and WHY?

When were the National flags hoisted again?

Does anyone have a copy of 'Fair News' for this period, which might contain the answer to this mystery?

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post-4062-126376117772_thumb.jpg

Once again, thank-you Bill, Wayne and Doug for your help on this. I have prepared a précis of this post to crystalize the remaining issues. Please help me to solve this mystery. It is very important to me.

"I attended the New York World's Fair on just one day, sometime from Saturday, the 20th June 1964 to Monday, the 22nd June 1964. I wanted to try to work out precisely which day and I wondered if there could be a clue in the photo (attached), taken just before we left the fair".

"I wondered if the flags (international), that would normally have flown at these flagpoles, may not have been raised at all on this day - possibly because they were being washed (but surely they had a spare set for that) - or possibly the international flags may not have been hoisted on a Sunday".

"Back to the mystery again - there is no way that the National flags in the 'Court of Nations' would have been taken down, for the end of the day, as early as 4:26 pm E.D.T., [when the picture was taken] so, I conclude that the flags were taken down for some other reason - and probably were not hoisted at all on the day I visited the New York World's Fair.

SO, WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION?

Were the flags missing on Saturday, the 20th June 1964?

Were the flags missing on Sunday, the 21st June 1964?

Were the flags missing on Monday, the 22nd June 1964?

When did the National flags come down - and WHY?

When were the National flags hoisted again?

Does anyone have a copy of 'Fair News' for this period, which might contain the answer to this mystery"?

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The answer may be in the daily records and logs of the Fair Corporation, more specifically perhaps in the logs of the World's Fair Police, which was staffed by the Pinkerton Agency.... if they were tasked with the daily raising and lowering of the flags.

I would be curious if there were ever occasions when the head of state of some foreign country came, did they take down these national flags and replace them with side-by-side U.S. flags and flags of that specific country? Or all flags of that country?

I suspect NOT... since the Fair Corporation was a private entity and didn't have the budget to raise 50 or 60 flags of a country like Venezuela.

Since those daily records and logs would be in the New York Public Library, it will take some help by our east coast team partners since us west coasters can't get to those archives from here (the records have not been digitized, indexed, or put on line).

I suspect these flags were raised in the morning daily, rain or shine, so bad weather wouldn't be a reason for the flags absence. And neither would the excuse 'they're in the laundry'. Surely there were two sets of everything to allow for laundering.

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... what times were the flags raised and lowered?

Was it the responsibility of each national pavilion etc - or were they all done by the fair organizers?

Many pavilions had their own sets of flagpoles in front of their pavilion, and they raised and lowered their own flags. If there was a tragedy in their home country, some of them took direction from their home government that this flag under their control should be lowered to half mast for the period of time specified by that government.

Your picture however shows the flags along the Court of Nations. These were owned and controlled by the Fair Corporation.

Kevin successfully mapped and identified every single flag a few years ago- a big undertaking- solely from photographs.

We were able to determine that some flags were present for countries which were not even represented at the Fair.

If I remember right we even discovered that they did change the flag for Canada betwen the '64 and '65 seasons, when Canada officially and legally switched to the maple leaf flag as their national flag.

But we didn't do any day-of-the-week analysis. All of this analysis was done from photographs, and even identifying a photo to the right year is often difficult, let alone to the month or specific day.

Sometimes we get lucky where the person who took the photo hand-wrote the date on it, but that's the exception.

It's much more likely that the questions you are asking can only be answered from official logs and records--- unless some former employee happens to come along who remembers.

I would check my collection of photos of the Court of Nations to see if there are any "no flags on the poles" daytime photos, but a computer crash last month trashed much of my indexing system and I haven't yet completely restored everything.

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Your picture however shows the flags along the Court of Nations. These were owned and controlled by the Fair Corporation.

Sometimes we get lucky where the person who took the photo hand-wrote the date on it, but that's the exception.

It's much more likely that the questions you are asking can only be answered from official logs and records--- unless some former employee happens to come along who remembers.

Thanks for your reply, Randy.

I think you're right. I was hoping that someone would be able to look this up in 'Fair News' or the local newspaper for June 1964. I think that the reason for the absence of flags may be very extraordinary and therefore would probably have been reported.

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Actually, there are several daytime photos of the Court of Nations without the flags flying.

However, I found one Bill Cotter photo that might be of particular interest to you:

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© Bill Cotter – worldsfairphotos.com / CD13, Set 62, Image 006

The date Bill gave to the photos in set 62 was June 21, 1964. This doesn't necessarily mean that this was the only day between June 20 and June 22 that the flags didn't fly, but it at least seems to confirm that your date range is correct...

PS - The last issue of the Fair News was printed March 22, 1964, so local NYC newspapers or official Fair record logs will probably be the only way to find out for sure why the flags were not flying.

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Were any countries added or deleted to the lineup? I can't remember if it was done alphabetically, but if so, perhaps they were juggling the pole assignments. Who has the list of flags and where they were?

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The flags were also down on the Court of States that same day and I doubt they were juggling states, so so much for that theory.

Perhaps they replaced all of the flags on a set schedule to keep them looking fresh.

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Were any countries added or deleted to the lineup? I can't remember if it was done alphabetically, but if so, perhaps they were juggling the pole assignments. Who has the list of flags and where they were?

Hi Bill,

Here's the "graphical" list for the Court of Nations...

post-387-126747426404_thumb.jpg

I think we agreed that "Taiwan" was a better name for the flag labeled "Chinese Taipei", but Taiwan doesn't fit in alphabetically...

Perhaps they replaced all of the flags on a set schedule to keep them looking fresh.

Possibly, but it seems rather odd to do that type of maintenance on a weekend instead of a Monday or Tuesday (when attendance would presumably be lighter). You'd think they'd want the Fairgrounds looking their best on the peak attendance days...

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Actually, there are several daytime photos of the Court of Nations without the flags flying.

However, I found one Bill Cotter photo that might be of particular interest to you:

The date Bill gave to the photos in set 62 was June 21, 1964. This doesn't necessarily mean that this was the only day between June 20 and June 22 that the flags didn't fly, but it at least seems to confirm that your date range is correct...

WOW, Yadda Yadda

Thank-you so much for finding this. It is such a thrill to see a color picture of the fair that may have been taken on the same day that I was there.

Back to the flag mystery, is it possible that ALL of the photographs that you have seen, showing flagless flagpoles, could have been taken during this period of time, centered on June 21st, 1964? Or, is there some information in the undated photographs (or photographs linked to them), that proves that they must have been taken at a different period?

I am 100% certain of my date range of June 20-22, 1964, because of a receipt for a coach journey taking me to New York City, and a date stamp on my passport after leaving New York City.

The next clue, as to the duration of the flagless period, centered on June 21st, 1964, could come from a photograph, actually showing the flags flying. If there was such a photograph, dated say June 20th, 1964, then we would know that the flags had been taken down at the end of that day or the beginning of June 21st. Similarly, If there was such a photograph, dated say June 22nd, 1964, then we would know that the flags had been restored by that date.

Once again, thank-you, so much.

Al

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Possibly, but it seems rather odd to do that type of maintenance on a weekend instead of a Monday or Tuesday (when attendance would presumably be lighter). You'd think they'd want the Fairgrounds looking their best on the peak attendance days...

I find it difficult to believe that the fair management would not have had at least one spare set of flags to be used to replace flags being washed or to replace flags that had become weathered or faded. Surely, they would have arranged for a new flag to be hoisted, immediately each flag was taken down.

The glorious colors of the flapping flags in the Court of Nations and the US States were a major asset to the Fair. Surely, the management would want this magnificent spectacle to be present every day - and every evening. This was The WORLD'S Fair after all.

I have a theory about the reason for all of this, but I think that it is best not to advance it at this stage.

Does anyone know which local New York City newspapers covered the news of the Fair and where and how the archives and microfilms can be accessed?

Does anyone know which official Fair record logs are still in existence and where they are and how they can be accessed?

I think that this mystery will soon be solved.

Al

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The New York Public Library is your best bet. They are the repository for all the records and documents of the Fair Corporation. There's a lot there.

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WOW, Yadda Yadda

Thank-you so much for finding this. It is such a thrill to see a color picture of the fair that may have been taken on the same day that I was there.

Hi Al,

You are very welcome - however, most of the credit should really go to Bill Cotter. All I did was search through his images...

I did try to find photos from his collection that were specifically dated June 20 or June 22, but there aren't any sets with those particular dates.

FYI - Here's a list of the sets where Bill has indicated that they were taken on a specific date:

Date ---------- Set

05/09/1964 - 131

05/20/1964 - 127

05/27/1964 - 128

06/21/1964 - 062

07/03/1964 - 075b

07/25/1964 - 075c

07/27/1964 - 081a

07/29/1964 - 081b

08/09/1964 - 111

08/29/1964 - 075a

09/06/1964 - 075e

09/15/1964 - 173

10/03/1964 - 014

10/03/1964 - 081d

04/21/1965 - 163

05/30/1965 - 075d

05/30/1965 - 081c

07/02/1965 - 164

08/21/1965 - 165

09/14/1965 - 179

I did not look for details on the other "flag-less" photos to see if they might have been taken on different days. I was only checking to see if they had specific dates associated with them - but I can go back to see if there are any indicators in the other photos that shows that they were taken on dates other than June 21, 1964.

Do you have any additional photos of your visit? If so, perhaps there may be clues to the date in your other images as well...

Too bad you guys weren't simply in the background of Bill's photo, then we'd have our answer for sure!

Best Regards,

Kevin

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Al, several years ago PTU member Hoodlock ran a series of posts here called something like "This Week at the Fair", which were summaries from NYT microfiche.

Might search those for your week; might get lucky.

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Hi Al,

You are very welcome - however, most of the credit should really go to Bill Cotter.

Too bad you guys weren't simply in the background of Bill's photo, then we'd have our answer for sure!

Of course, you are right about Bill. He has produced a phenomenal body of work, for which we are all in his debt.

The holy grail for me would be an image of my family in the background of someone else's photograph or film. My Mother died 19 months ago, and we don't have a single photograph of her in New York. This trip was a major event in our lives. To see a picture of her, at this pivotal event, would help to bring her back in a way. That would be absolutely wonderful.

How many images are there on Bill's set #62, taken on June 21st? Maybe, we are in the background of one of the other pictures, if we were at The Fair on that day.

We arrived by train from 42nd Street, Manhattan, and after entering the Fair at the main entrance, we walked from Gotham Plaza straight towards the unisphere. What an awesome structure that was - and still is. We spent nearly all of our time in the International and Transportation areas. I was totally absorbed in the atmosphere. I wanted to stay much longer.

I did not want to leave as early as 5:07 pm, when we left. How do I know that time? I looked back, as we walked up the ramp from Gotham Plaza, and borrowed my Mother's camera to capture that last view of The Fair. The time 5:07 is just visible on the clock in the background.

I wish, so much, that I had asked my Mother to get in the picture.

Al

post-4062-126757960008_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the kind words. I have several other shots without the flags from other sets but none are dated. I have a few thousand waiting for scanning though so who knows what will turn up? As to Set 62, there were only 13 slides in that box.

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Thanks for the kind words. I have several other shots without the flags from other sets but none are dated. I have a few thousand waiting for scanning though so who knows what will turn up? As to Set 62, there were only 13 slides in that box.

You're welcome, Bill.

I'm sure that everyone who has ever used this forum feels the same way.

Would you be willing to send to me, by e-mail, the 13 images of June 21st, 1964, in your set 62? I have a 10 MB limit on e-mail attachments.

As far as the flagless flagpoles are concerned, no-one has so far found any evidence that this episode occurred at any time other than June 1964. I think that that could be used as a working assumption, until someone proves otherwise.

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There are numerous sets of slides with June 64 printed on them, with no flags on the poles. There are no specific dates written on these slides.

I found one set dated May 64 with no flags flying (among many sets). Again no specific date.

I found at least one set (maybe more) with June 64 printed on them WITH the flags flying. Again no specific date.

I found one set with July 64 printed on them, but with a handwritten "June 6, 1964" written on the slide mounts. In these June 6th pictures, the flags are flying.

You see we have lots of photos, but very little on specific dates other than the month the slides were processed at the lab.

Just based on the evidence we see, I'd say there were SEVERAL days during the month of June that they didn't fly the flags for some reason.

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