Flag 61

Explorers Club Flags and the History of Flag 61

The Explorers Club flags represent an impressive history of courage and accomplishment and have been carried on hundreds of expeditions by Club members since 1918. To carry the Club flag is an honor and a privilege. It has flown at both poles, from the highest peaks of the greatest mountain ranges, traveled to the depths of the ocean, to the lunar surface, and outer space. A flag expedition must further the cause of exploration and field science.

The first members to carry the new flag were Clyde Fisher and Carvath Wells, who journeyed to Lapland in 1924 while leading an astronomy expedition for the American Museum of Natural History. Today there are 222 numbered flags, each with its own history. Many of the older flags have been retired. A select handful of these retired flags are framed and displayed at headquarters in New York City, including the flags carried by Roy Chapman Andrews, Bob Bartlett, Thor Heyerdahl, Naomi Uemora, and the miniature flag carried by the astronauts aboard Apollo 11.

Flag 61 has been carried on 33 expeditions since its first foray into Colombia in 1935. It has been taken to the polar regions retracing Shackleton, the first polar flights and aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker. It was on mountaineering and caving expeditions on Mt Rainier, in remote parts of China and with wounded veterans to Mt Denali. It has been on expeditions to the Cayman, Cuba, Palau, Falkland, New Guinea looking for caves, cephalopods and other island issues.

Date Explorer Expedition

  • 1935 A. J. Durlacher Colombian Petroleum Expedition
  • 1954 Dr. Wilson A. Swanker Swanker-Rogers Cayman Islands Expedition
  • 1954 Dr. Wilson Swanker American Polar Expedition
  • 1992 Robert P. Teten Jr. Texas Antarctic Expedition
  • 1993 Gregory Deyermenjian Paititi Expedition
  • 1994 Charles E. Rawlings III, M.D. Photo Survey of the Cephalopods of New Guinea
  • 1995 Dr. Cato Holler Jr. U.S. Cuban Speleological Expedition
  • 1995 William Klimack Mt. Rainier Steam Cave Expedition
  • 1996 Gregory Deyermenjian Pyramids of Paratoari/Pantiacolla Expedition
  • 1996 Charles E. Rawlings II Photographic Survey of the Cephalopods of Palau
  • 1997 Gregory Deyermenjian Lake Parime/ El Dorado Expedition
  • 1997 William K. Klimack Mount Rainier Steam Caves Expedition
  • 1998 Sylvia A. Earle Aquarius 9806 Mission
  • 1998 William Klimack Mount Rainier Steam Cave Expedition 1998
  • 1998 Shane Lundgren Trans-Polar Flight 1998
  • 1999 Patrick J. Scannon, Ph.D. Palau-Marine, AAF, Navy Expedition, P-Man
  • 1999 Steven Van Beek Lancang Headwaters, Xinghai Province, China
  • 2000 William N. Rom, M.D. Shackleton Crossing of South Georgia
  • 2000 Gregory Deyermenjian The Paititi Expedition
  • 2002 Sylvia A. Earle Sustainable Seas Expedition 2002
  • 2003 Patrick J. Scannon, M.D., Ph.D. P-MAN (Palau-Marines + Army Air Force + Navy) V
  • 2004 James Westerman Abydos Research Project
  • 2005 Peter J. Foley Gonshan, Yunnan trek to a mountain Nu Village
  • 2006 Peter J. Foley Nu Villages Yunnan Tibet Borders
  • 2007 Mark Fowler Operation Deep Climb
  • 2008 Luc Hardy PAX ARCTICA
  • 2011 David R. Olson, USN (Ret.) Combat Wounded Veteran Mountaineering Challenge (Denali)
  • 2011 Jill Heinerth Chasing the Oracle – Scout
  • 2012 Keith Bildstein Straited Caracara Movement Ecology, Falkland
  • 2015 Greg Deyermenjian Yuracmayo Expedition
  • 2016 Michael Aw USCGC Healy Arctic Chukchi Borderlands Expedition