Every year on the afternoon of Sunset dinner the flags are removed from the Ceremonial pole. There was a first come first serve email sent out and everyone who wanted to participate replied with the flag they wanted to take down. Max chose the United States flag. I picked the Norway flag in honor of my grandpa who has a long Norwegian heritage. I also went to Norway when I was young to visit some of my family who still lives there.
The flags are stored for the winter and at sunrise all of the old ceremonial flags are given to winter overs by picking names out of a hat. The flags get pretty destroyed after a summer season, so they start fresh every year. These are the 12 original countries to sign the Antarctic treaty.
The Australian flag has been kept up every winter in honor of an Australian who died during a winter. However, we were just informed that the NSF did not know that it was still being kept up and so it was taken down yesterday. They feel that it is unfair to other nations who have lost people while being here. There have been four deaths since the United States Antarctic Program first built a station at the South Pole. One guy died a year ago in the summer from a heart attack while in his room. It does not happen often, but it is a very hard moment when it does.
Here is a goofy photo of my co worker and I on our way up to lunch. I didn’t mean for it to be a sad post, so I thought I would end it with a different picture.