DAR chapter honors designer of Arkansas flag

Pine Bluff-John McAlmont Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution recently honored the late Willie Kavanaugh Hocker as a Woman in American History. This award is given to women who have made a contribution or a difference in their communities through intellectual, educational, social, religious, political, scientific, and/or cultural endeavors.

The certificate designating the award was accepted by Kristi Alexander, executive director of Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Historical Museum, to be placed on display there.

Hocker was the designer of the Arkansas Flag. Pine Bluff Chapter DAR wanted to give a flag to the newly commissioned battleship, U.S.S. Arkansas, but learned that Arkansas had no flag. A contest was held to select a design. Hocker’s design, one of 65 entries, was adopted as the official state flag by the Arkansas State Legislature in 1913.

Hocker was staying with friends at 2801 Elm St., in Pine Bluff when she drew the design. A commemorative marker at that address was placed by Pine Bluff Chapter DAR.

Hocker taught school in Wabbaseka and Pine Bluff, where she was principal of First Ward School. She wrote poetry and a history of the Wabbaseka Methodist Church. One of two women in the United States to have designed state flags, she represented Arkansas at the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Pageant of Famous Women in the United States in 1929.