1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


"The Attorney Generals Flag"
Chapter 7 FRW Memories
John McCurdy 09


            In the Federal Prisons Industries Building at the Federal Reformatory for Women was a section that was devoted to the, "Dress-Making and Arts Program",  which made the release clothing for inmates who did not have sufficient family or funds to provide their own clothing for their release and subsequent  wear. The supervisor in the D&A tried to see that the clothing was of a decent material and of a style fairly up to date.

       In a very small section of the D&A was a table that always had four or five, generally older and generally somewhat, shall we say stout, and nearly always Spanish women who were not able to do much work and who were not in good health. However, they were excellent needle workers! 

     For years the Federal Reformatory for Women at Alderson had produced the Flag of the Attorney General of the United States of America, The flag that is always  seen behind his desk in photos taken in his office in the Department of Justice building in Washington, D. C.

    Every outgoing Attorney General took his Flag with him, and each newly appointed Attorney General was presented with a  his Flag by the Warden of the Federal Reformatory for Women. The presentation ceremony afforded the Warden a fine opportunity to present the Alderson Institution in the very best light to the individual who was, after all, our boss!

    The four by six foot flag was made of white silk, the edges of the flag had gold colored tassels all around, embroidered on the flag was The Great Seal of the United States as well as the Seal of the Attorney General. All of it was done in silk thread of vibrant colors and of the finest workmanship.  

   The flag generally took over two years to complete, partly because it was so finely made but also because the women working on it did not work a full day. The work was tedious and they were not in good health anyway. There was always a waiting list of women desiring to work and have part in the creation of this beautiful piece of art. As far as I know it has not been made for over 30 years.