The Society’s Flag Carriers

SWG Flag CarriersEstablished: 1931
Designer:    Carroll Bill, Boston artist

Represents:   Eastern half of the Western Hemisphere and the western half of the Eastern Hemisphere, with the North Star above and the Southern Cross below.

By Executive Council approval, the flag is carried on expeditions of such unusual character that their successful accomplishment adds real distinction to the Society and makes a permanent contribution to the world’s store of geographical knowledge; or the bearer is engaged in work of a professional, geographic, or scientific nature that is new, original, or represents a “first” in at least one sense.

Carole Hickman2013Carried to the Tjőrnes Seacliff Shellbeds of Northern Iceland to “return” important museum specimens to a field setting that has assumed new scientific importance.
Deborah Atwood2009Carried to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a team conducting high altitude physiological research
Martha Hayne Talbot2007, 2011Carried on the Nam Theun Watershed Expedition to a previously unexplored area of the Anamite Mountains, Laos, Vietnam in early 2007 which explored and recorded threatened species and vegetation and again in 2011
Karen Huntt & Michele Westmoreland2005Carried to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, retracing the steps of portrait painter and SWG member Caroline Mytinger in the 1920's and taking photographs and videotapes to document cultural changes in the ensuing 80 years.
Ann Parks Hawthorne2003Carried to the Southern Ross Sea area of Antarctica to photograph geographical features for a historical gazetteer.
Pam Flowers1997Carried in 1997 on the first documented solo winter round trip by surface to the Magnetic North Pole from Resolute Bay in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
1993-1994In 1993-1994 on 2,500-mile solo dog sled expedition across Arctic North America, retracing the 1923 Firth Thule Expedition, marking the first time a lone woman or an American completed the route solo.
Elizabeth McKnight1993Carried in 1993 on three-month 3,000-mile expedition across Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia, retracing the last expeditions of Dr. David Livingstone and documenting changes.
1992Carried in 1992 to Rio Roosevelt in central Brazil as leader of expedition with first two women to traverse the 950-mile river discovered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1914.
Patricia V. Rich1989Carried to an underground excavation in Dinosaur Cove, Victoria, in southern Australia to excavate rocks and fossils, including those of polar dinosaurs, uncovered after 105 million years.
Tanya Atwater1985Carried to the deep ocean about two miles down, 300 miles northeast of the Galapagos Islands, to explore rifts in the ocean bottom in an area where plates are moving apart and that contains the clearest known example of a "propagating rift" & one which is extending itself past another, shutting off the latter.
Sylvia Alice Earle1985Carried to the "deep scattering layer" in the Coronado canyon offshore from San Diego, diving solo in theDeep Roverto a depth of 3,000 feet, as leader of the expedition to explore marine life in the Coronado canyon and to obtain and keep alive selected specimens.
Ellen Sparry Brush1984Carried in 1984 to Chile and Bolivia to study the world's highest lake, Licancabur Crater, and its environs.
Mercedes S. Foster1984Carried to Carro de la Neblina at the southernmost tip of Venezuela where she studied many aspects of the evolutionary process and to document with specimens the fauna of this high plateau 9,000 feet above the rain forests along the Venezuela-Brazil border.
Kathryn D. Sullivan1984Carried into space as a member of the Challenger shuttle crew on a nine-day mission, becoming the first American woman to "walk" in space while participating in a 3-hour extra-vehicular experiment on the feasibility of satellite refueling.
Alison Spence Brooks1983Carried to northwestern Kalahari Desert in Botswana, when she led an archaeological expedition to excavate and date a Middle Stone Age faunal site.
Sara Bisel1983-1984Carried to Herculaneum, Italy, for anthropological study of skeletal material dating to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, bringing a wealth of new details of how people lived, as well as died, in the lost cities of Vesuvius.
Eugenie Clark1982Carried in 1982 to Japan's Izu Oceanic Park to study marine biota at various depths.
Mary Livingston Ripley1981-1982Carried to the remote Namdapha Valley in Arunchal Pradesh, India, on an environmental survey with the Smithsonian Institution.
Edith "Jackie" Ronne1971Carried to the South Pole to participate in the 60thanniversary celebration of Amundsen's first reaching it, and commemorating the year she spent as the first woman expedition member (as historian and newspaper correspondent) in the Antarctic with the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, 1946-48; Ronne Ice Shelf, the world's second largest, was named for her.
Ellen Sparry Brush1970Carried in 1970 on an American Museum of Natural History expedition to coastal Guerrero, Mexico, with archaeological investigations producing colorfully painted pottery, some resembling Olmec forms.
Jeanne M. Gurnee1968Carried to Guatemala's Alta Verapaz area on a speleological expedition sponsored by the Explorers Club, when they descended in a cave to a site undisturbed for 1000 years which contained human skeletons, pottery, and altar-hearths.
Anne Lyon Haight1968Carried to Greenland to collect Eskimo artifacts for the Vilhjalmur Stefansson (a great Arctic explorer) Collection at Dartmouth College.
Marie Poland Fish1966Carried to the Canary Islands and the coast of West Africa on a Narragansett Marine Laboratory oceanographic expedition, when she monitored and recorded underwater choruses of fish, whales, and porpoises.
Gladys Owen1964Carried to Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Yucatan, Mexico, to study effects on native populations of the newly improved systems of transportation there.
Eugenie Clark1962Carried in 1969 when she led the American delegation participating in the international Israel South Red Sea Expedition, to contrast studies of the coral reef environment with the mangrove areas in the vicinity of Massawa, Eritrea, with her work centering on sharks and eels.
Marie-Helene Sachet1958Carried to Clipperton Island, off the west coast of Central America, on biological expedition sponsored by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, when she collected plants, studied vegetation, and worked on geology and soils.
Marion Stirling Pugh1957Carried in 1957 to the Pacific Coast of Ecuador, where she excavated pottery figurines.
1948, 1951, 1953Holds distinction of being only member to carry SWG's flag four times, all on archaeological expeditions with her husband Matthew Stirling, under the joint sponsorship of the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution. Carried in 1948, 1951, and 1953 to Panama, for archaeological work in first Chiriqui and Veraguas provinces, then Colon province, and finally on an ethnological visit to the Choco Indians.
Dorothy Schweitzer1957Carried on her boat on travel based on Bora Bora to the Society Islands to study coral reefs and their creatures and the people of the area and studied marine biology.
Margaretta Hopkins1956Carried in 1956 on a hunting expedition with her husband to French Equatorial Africa.
1955Carried in 1955 on a hunting safari to Tanganyika, when she was alone with a white hunter and his staff and was the first woman to kill the rare swamp-dwelling sitatunga antelope.
Ardelia Ripley Hall1954Carried to South Korea on a mission for the Departments of State and Army to survey and photograph Korean War damage to museums, palaces, temple-monasteries, and ancient sites.
Irene Morden1953Carried on the Morden African Expedition to Southwest Africa to collect specimens of native material representing a cross-section of daily life, for the American Museum of Natural History, as first western woman to travel to Etosha Pan and the remote Skeleton Coast.
Lucile Quarry Mann1940Carried in 1940, with her husband, to Liberia on expedition to collect live specimens for the National Zoo, enduring rough travel by hammock, rickshaw, dugout canoe, and on foot.
1937Carried in 1937 with her husband, National Zoo Director William Mann, to the East Indies, as only woman on the expedition, which collected live animals, birds, and reptiles for the zoo.
Margaret Mead1936Carried to Bali and New Guinea in connection with her anthropological research among the primitive tribes, documenting village life with still and moving pictures.
Mary Vaux Walcott1936Carried to Japan for botanical research and collection of wild flowers for the Smithsonian Institution and her watercolor reproductions of them.
Gloria Hollister1934Carried when she was one of the scientists working with William Beebe's Oceanographic Expedition, when she descended in the bathysphere to 1,208 feet, the greatest depth ever attained by a woman at that time.
Marie Peary Stafford1932Carried to Cape York, North Greenland, for dedication of memorial to her father, Admiral Robert E. Peary. As first white baby born in the Far North, she partially grew up with the Eskimos and was called "Snow Baby."
Amelia Earhart1935Carried on her flight from New York to Washington to receive National Geographic Medal, but it commemorated her solo trans-Atlantic flight on May 21, 1932.