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As if Colorado State University fans needed another reason to hate the University of Colorado.
On Saturday, the Colorado State Rams’ 101st Homecoming game, the 2015 Rams ran into Hughes Stadium with the 1925 Aggies’ flag flying high.
John Hirn, CSU Football historian and author of “Aggies to Rams” was at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium Saturday afternoon telling stories of the old flag.
First and foremost, a student from the University of Colorado stole the flag. What happened in between is unknown, and the flag was returned to Colorado State University through Hirn last year.
“A guy came to me two weeks before Homecoming last year, and last year was our 100th Homecoming,” Hirn explained. “And he said, ‘I’ve got a flag that was my grandma’s, do you want it?’ So I said, ‘Send me some pictures.’ He sent me some pictures and the ‘Captured on Nov. 14 1925.'”
“What that is, is a CU fan, who was actually a graduate of Longmont High School, stole it after we beat CU in our Homecoming in 1925. So, we don’t really know what happened in those 89 years in between, but we can assume it was displayed somehow.”
Hirn then showed how one side of the flag was much more faded than the other, with holes in the corners, “He could’ve had it in a frat house, he could’ve had it somewhere else,” he said.
The Colorado State sports historian got the flag in just in time for the Distinguished Alumni Awards, and at his speech, “I pulled it out of my suit pocket, had Dr. (Tony) Frank hold onto one end and I presented it back to the school.”
Pretty damn cool.
“We’re taking the old 1925 flag and bringing a new tradition of bringing it out of the tunnel, they brought it to the bonfire, things like that,” Hirn continued. “To have it as a relic of Homecoming, now, 100 years after we started Homecoming.”
Hirn says he believes the flag originally flew atop the stadium, as flags continue to do today at Hughes, but at Colorado Field. The historian said he has photos of Colorado Field from that period of time, and there were undistinguishable flags on either end of the stadium, which he believes is where this one came from.
It wasn’t just any Homecoming game between CSU and CU, either; Colorado A&M was undefeated and CU had a chance to upset the Rams and their chance to play in Hawai’i for the 1925 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship. After the game, a 12-0 Aggies win, fans from both sides got into a scuffle at the north side of the stadium, where and when the flag was likely taken.
“A CU fan probably cut the rope, pulled it down and took it with him,” Hirn hypothesized. “So, they were very proud they had captured it, because we had won the game. It’s kind of a neat part of history behind it.”
Hirn said he also helped with the CSU Sports Hall of Fame in Moby Arena, which was really well-done. “That was a good couple-year project for me,” Hirn said. “And the book was a 17-year project, off and on.”