Flags and Awards

The  Adventurers Club has two levels of awards; Flags and  Certificates.

If you are a member of the club and wish to be considered for a flag or certifcate please contact Peter M. Suttle, flag committe chairman, at club@theadventurersclub.com

 

 

 

Flags

As you look about our curious Club... particularly as you gaze  towards the ceiling... you will  see several hundred embroidered flags with the Club emblem and the names of Members; they all have a story to tell. If one of our members proposes an interesting and dangerous or very different sort of trip, he or she may apply to the Flag Committee, providing the committee members with a synopsis of the proposed trip. If the plan meets with our stringent standards of travel, adventure, uniqueness and daring-do, then the committee will order that two flags be made. When the member  departs on the trip, the flags will accompany him or her. When - and if! - he or she returns, one of the flags will be presented back to the Club President,  usually at a special dinner upon the Long Table (known as "Flag Dinners"), during the course of which the tales of the adventure will be recounted to the membership. The returned flag will proudly join its brothers and sisters, to hang in the rafters as a memorial to the Adventure. The second flag is retained  by the Member, to do with as he or she pleases.

Carl Ackely a great naturalist and explorer, chose to have his flag buried with him on Mt. Mikeno, in Zaire.

Roald Amundson and Ernest Shackelton have taken their flags to both  poles; Admiral Richard E. Byrd, U.S.N., took his to the South Pole, when he established the research station known as "Little America".

When it comes to travel by water, Ben Willis flew his flag for 12,000  miles on the longest solo raft trip ever made; Francis  Brenton carried our Flag on both of his Atlantic crossings... in a dugout canoe. And, Thor Heyerdahl, of "Kon Tiki" fame, has had flags to go with him on various voyages of his.  Our Flag has been taken about as high as it can be carried by foot, to the top of Mt. Everest  (29,081 feet above sea level), not once, but twice! The first time was by Sir Edmund Hillary the first person to reach the summit of Everest, and the second time by Stacy Allison, the first American woman to conquer it. Actualy, there are 3 Everest flags. The last one awarded to Al Hanna of Chicago, aged 70, who on his 3rd attempt came within 300 feet of the summit. Al has summited the 6 of the 7 summits and if he is successful this year in 2002, will be the oldest person to reach the peak of the World?s highest mountain.

Some more recent Flags have gone to Bill Orthwein (who flew accross the  Caribbean in an "Ultralight" aircraft - really a kite with a lawnmower engine  to propel it) and to Peter Boczar (who spent 2 weeks hacking through the jungles of French Guyana, in search of a crashed WWII army Air Force plane that claimed the life of of one of his relatives).

While some of the older flags seem to have redundant themes ("Safari to...."), in those days it was difficult to get from here to there and to hunt.  But now, "just another safari" is about as likely to rate a Flag as would a trip on a luxury cruise ship!

The design of the Flag incorporates our "A" and the "Globe" emblem that  was reported to have been designed by Baron Guido Von Horvath at the original  organizational meeting of the club, in 1911. A slight variation of this emblem  is now used on other Club paraphernalia, thus reserving the originally emblem for the most important feature of the club. covery.

Some people seem to think that our Flags are not flags at all, but rather "standards" or "pennants". To set the record straight, my copy of The  Random House Dictionary of the English Language defines a flag as "a piece  of cloth, varying in size, shape, color and design, usually attached at one edge to a staff or cord, and used as the symbol of a nation, state or organization, as means of signaling, etc.; ensign; standard; banner; pennant." So they are  true flags; since they are usually attached to a bar across the top, they could be said to fall into the subspecies vexilloid, in the arcane terminology of  flag lore.

Certificate of Meritorious Achievement

To receive a flag at The Adventurers Club and have it placed on our rafters placing you among the elite adventurers in the world is one of the highest honors one can achieve for an adventurous activity.  But what about those great achievements that do not qualify for a flag?  For example, 5,000 people climb Mt. Rainier every year of the 10,000 or so who attempt it.  Is it an easy climb? Absolutely not!  Does it qualify for a flag? The answer would be no. However, climbing this mountain is a significant achievement and for this reason, in 2000 the club started issuing certificates of meritorious achievement. Once earned, the certificates are placed in a book at the club for all to see.  The adventurer who earns the certificate also receives a copy for personal use. The process for qualifying for a certificate is the same. One must present the idea to the Flag committee.