MEMORIAL FLAG STAFF STANDARD
The Flag Staff Standard is one of St. Augustine's most
significant public monuments. It is located in the Plaza area,
a central green with surrounding buildings on the bayfront.
The Plaza is the central feature of the Colonial City Historic
District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Plaza has been the setting for many of St. Augustine's most
prominent public monuments from colonial times to the present
and the focal point of public ceremonies, improvement drives,
and tree plantings. It has included many features over the
years, among them an alligator pond and an open bandstand
popular for music and political rallies. The original Plaza
area has been augmented by additional green spaces created
after World War I. The additional spaces consist of two small
parks east of the public market place and a third west of
government house. The Plaza has not only been a famous scenic
site for tourists, it is located at the center of the town's
commercial, religious, and governmental life.
The erection of the Flag Staff Standard was part of the
expansion of the original plaza which occurred after World War
I. It is located at Anderson Circle, a small park northeast of
the Public Market and west of the Bridge of the Lions. It is
roughly bounded by Avenida Menendez on the east, Charlotte
Street on the west, Cathedral Place on the south, and King
Street on the south.
The Standard rests on fill in an area which during the
Colonial Period (1565-1821) formed the shoreline of the
Matanzas Bay. During the United States Territorial Period
(1821-1845), a seawall was constructed along the bayfront. The
seawall contained a rectangular boat basin. The boat basin was
near or encroached on the present site of the Standard. Around
1890, about the time of the construction of the wooden bridge
to Anastasia Island, the boat basin was filled and the seawall
continued unbroken along the bayfront. The filled area where
the Standard presently is located formed the intersection of
Bay Street, Cathedral Place, Charlotte Street. The fact that
the Standard is located on fill is a possible explanation for
settling and other structural problems associated with its
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth, there
began a trend in the United States, best known as the City
Beautiful Movement, to improve the appearance of urban areas.
Parks and attractive landscape and streetscape features became
commonplace throughout the country. Among the leaders of the
effort to improve the appearance of the city of St. Augustine
was Dr. Andrew Anderson.
Dr. Anderson's first contribution to the beautification of
St. Augustine was a marble statue and fountain. The statue
was destroyed by vandals during the 1940s but the base remains
at the west end of the Plaza near Government House.
Dr. Anderson subsequently made a greater contribution to
the public art of St. Augustine. The third anniversary of the
armistice ending World War I was to be a national observance.
The principal event was the internment of the Unknown Soldier
at Arlington National Cemetery, presided over by President
Warren G. Harding. At the local level, Andrew Anderson decided
to finance the erection of an appropriate memorial to the
residents of St. Augustine who had lost their lives in service.
He commissioned C. Adrian Pillars, a resident of St. Augustine
and sculptor of national significance, to design the base of
During his lifetime Adrian Pillars was one of Florida's
most significant artists. He studied at the Art Institute of
Chicago. His work included Winged Victory, a memorial to
Florida's war dead at Riverside Park in Jacksonville; the Bryan
Memorial, Battleship Florida; the statues of General Edmund
Kirby-Smith and Dr. John Gorrie at the United States Capitol,
Washington, D.C.; and the statue of W.B. Barnett, Barnett Bank,
Jacksonville. The Memorial Flag Staff Standard at St.
Augustine is listed among his major works according to such
authoritative sources as Dictionary of American Sculptors, Who
is Who in American Art, and Dictionary of American Painters,
Sculptors and Engravers. Pillars home and studio were located
at 16 May Street. During the 1930s he taught at the Ringling
Art School at Sarasota, Florida. He died in 1937.
The Memorial Flag Staff was cast by the Gorham
Manufacturing Company of Providence, Rhode Island. During a
public ceremony on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921, Dr.
Anderson presented the newly cast, bronze Standard to the city.
The Standard featured six men from St. Augustine's history.
The information included above was obtained from records
at the St. Augustine Historical Society, the City of St.
Augustine, and the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board.
Sources included the Florida Master Site File, the St.
Augustine Record, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and other
historic maps. Through Karen Harvey of the St. Augustine
Record, the consultants made direct contact with the Gorham
Manufacturing Company in Providence to obtain technical
specifications and other information regarding the Standard.
The historic records of the Gorham Manufacturing Company are
located at the John Hay Library, Brown University. Samuel
Hough, a consultant for the library, is searching the Gorham
Company records for information about the Standard. Hopefully,
the information will be forthcoming and will assist the city in
its efforts to preserve this important public monument. Others
who provided historical data about the Standard and Adrian
Pillars are the Ringling School of Art Library; Robert Harper,
Director of the Lightner Museum; Joel McEachern,
Riverside-Avondale Preservation; and Mrs. Judson Freeman,
Riverside Memorial Park Association, Inc. Mrs. Freeman
indicated that Adrian Pillars's daughters are both alive and
have information about his work. This source is also being