Who was Sergeant Floyd? Why only 15 stars on the American Flag?

by on Sep.09, 2009, under crop photos, General, Photo Editing, Photo Techniques

USA 15 Star Flag Flying over Floyd’s Monument, Sioux City, IA.

15 Star Flag at Floyd Monument, Sioux City, IA

15 Star Flag at Floyd Monument, Sioux City, IA

This past weekend my wife and I took a little road trip from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, SD by way of Sioux City, IA (Nebraska and SD).  Why? Well, when our trip to a friend’s cabin in Spearfish Canyon, SD was cancelled we decided to take a couple of days and see the eastern part of South Dakota. And, another friend suggested we go to Sioux City where South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska join.  So we did and that is where we learned about Sergeant Charles Floyd. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know who he is. No one I ask, even those who grew up in SD and IA, know who he is either.

Sergeant Floyd’s Claim to Fame—He Died!
That’s right. Sergeant Floyd’s claim to fame is that he was the only person to die on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Quite remarkable that only one person died on that famous trip across the US. Here is a link if you are interested in learning more.

The 15 Star Flag—The Digital Photo Lesson
The flag flying over Floyd’s Monument has 15 stars representing the 15 states comprising the US when Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Trying to capture the flag to show all of the stars turned out to be a challenge, however. But, as I have said before, one of the benefits of a digital camera is that you can take lots of shots to get a usable one. This is the best of about 10 shots I took.  Even with the multiple shots I still needed to edit the photo with CorrectPhoto. Here is a before and after comparison.

Flag15-CP BA-550



The Floyd Monument-The First National Historic Landmark

Sergeant Floyd was a busy guy after he died and had trouble settling into a final resting place. He actually moved four times before arriving at his final resting place, the Floyd Monument which was completed in 1901. And, in 1960 the monument was recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the first National Historic Landmark. For more information on the Floyd Monument go to:

Floyd Monument-Photo Edited with CorrectPhoto & Titled with ImageTitler

Floyd Monument-Photo Edited with CorrectPhoto & Titled with ImageTitler

Take a Bunch of Shots
I like the above shot (it was cropped and Color Corrected in CorrectPhoto) but, that was just one of about ten shots I took of the Floyd Monument. Here is a sampling of a few of the other shots I took.

Floyd Monument Photos

Floyd Monument Photos

And that’s the point of this post—take a bunch of shots and then pick the ones you really like and toss the rest.  If you only take one or two you will most likely be disappointed after you get home and start editing your photos. It is a long way back to Sioux City or wherever you were to retake the photo. With a digital camera the extra shots are free. 

Lessons for Today
First– the history lessons. We learned who Sergeant Floyd was and why there is a Floyd Monument in Sioux City, IA, and that it was the first monument to receive the National Historic Landmark designation by the US Department of Interior in 1960. The US had 15 states at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Second–the photo lesson. Take multiple shots of subjects. This is true when you are on a vacation trip, at an event or around the house.  You most likely will not get another chance to shoot the same object again. And, remember it is free with a digital camera.


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