Does the city of Alexandria have a flag pole?

How about an official city flag?

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Readers recently asked the newspaper those questions and the answer for both is "yes."

The flag pole, however, isn't located right next to City Hall. It's across the street, in front of the Coldwell Banker Crown Realty building at 625 Broadway. The building was known as the Federal Building in the early 1900s and served as a post office.

According to a plaque attached to the pole, it was presented to the city at the request of Captain George A. Freudenreich back on May 29, 1904 - 27 years after the city was incorporated.

Freudenreich, a native of Russia, lived in Alexandria for a time and was the chief marshal for the city's centennial celebration in 1876, according to information uncovered by Barb Grover at the Douglas County Historical Society. He worked for the McCormick Company and was described as a "highly educated gentleman, of distinguished appearance" with the right to use the title of baron, according to an Alexandria Post News story. He served in the Civil War as a lieutenant.

Freudenreich died in 1899 but never forgot his days in Alexandria. In his will, he requested to sell 40 acres of his land in Brandon Territory and use the proceeds to erect a permanent flagstaff and flag for the city.

At one time, the 125-foot-high pole was believed to be one of the tallest in Minnesota. The city displays the American Flag on it and is responsible for the maintenance.

The official flag for the city is displayed in the city council chambers at City Hall. It's a white flag with the words "Alexandria Minnesota" in blue.

In the center is a circle noting the city's location in the "heart of 10,000 lakes."

The circle also contains a heart-shaped design outlined in red and depicts a sailboat cresting over blue waves with a bright yellow sun in the background. A similar design was once used as a logo by the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

City staff wasn't sure exactly when the flag was presented to the city but believes the high school marching band might have donated it back in the 1980s or 1990s.