By Briana Altergott
The birthplace of Missouri’s flag design rang in the flag’s one-hundredth anniversary with an impressive celebration this spring. In 1913, Marie Watkins Oliver, wife of state Sen. R.B. Oliver, designed the flag at the couple’s home in Cape Girardeau. Years later, Dr. Bert and Mary Ann Kellerman purchased the Oliver home with plans to renovate. The house, now called the Oliver-Leming House, is also known as the Flag Home. The celebration included guided tours of the historic Oliver- Leming House followed by speeches and presentations from descendants of the Oliver family and historians. “The Kellermans completed the renovation in time for the centennial,” says Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr, president of the State Historical Society of Missouri, which co-sponsored the centennial celebration. “It is luxurious and altogether magnificent inside.” And though the town couldn't get the original flag that Mrs. Oliver designed for the celebration, which is now housed at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center in Jefferson City, it did showcase the first flag that flew over the capitol.