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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Rodeo Won't Waive Flag Traditions: That Cradle Of Cowboy Greatness, Puerto Rico?

By Rick Press

January 28, 2003
Copyright © 2003
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. All rights reserved. 

The sea of red, white and blue flags hanging above the Stock Show rodeo pay tribute to America and Texas.

And that cradle of cowboy greatness, Puerto Rico?

What appears to be the island's flag hangs throughout the Stock Show arenas.

"There's no significance to it," said Kellee Washburn, sales manager for Freeman Decorating, the Dallas company that has been supplying and hanging the flags at the Stock Show for at least 20 years. "It's strictly there for the color."

"I didn't know it was in there," said W.R. "Bob" Watt Jr., Stock Show president and general manager. "It's really just for decoration. But I'm glad to know we had a visitor from Puerto Rico who noticed it."

There is some question as to whether it is, in fact, a Puerto Rican flag. Delbert Bailey, the Stock Show's international committee host, calls it a "display flag," whose blue triangle is steeper and lighter than the Puerto Rican flag that hangs in the Stock Show's international suite.

Washburn said she knew the Puerto Rican flag was among the Stock Show's more than 250 flags, but also knew it had become part of the show's tradition -- a tradition that show officials have no intention of messing with.

"A few years ago for the show's centennial, we suggested some changes," Washburn said. "The answer was a very adamant no. They said, 'This is our look and we're sticking with it.' "

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