This lovely real photo postcard and colorized postcard were amongst Hilda's things. It is likely that Hilda and/or Winifred were part of this patriotic formation created with seventeen hundred school children dressed in ankle-length capes and mobcaps of red, white or blue cheesecloth, some carrying silver paper stars above their heads. They were assembled for the G.A.R. Parade. The "flag" was set up at the intersection of 700 South and Main street. I believe the photograph was taken by Shipler. (Read more below in an excerpt from the BYU website.)
G.A.R. was the "Grand Army of the Republic" a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the US Army, US Navy, Marines and the US Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War in the Northern/Federal forces.
"...Before turning back at Seventh South, the old soldiers paused to view what was billed as the greatest single feature of encampment week: the Living Flag, composed of seventeen hundred Salt Lake children, posed on a grandstand the width of Main Street, dressed in ankle-length capes and mobcaps of red, white, or blue cheesecloth, some carrying silver paper stars above their heads. These costumes had been sewn by the local Woman’s Relief Corps and by the women of the Church’s Relief Societies. The children sang patriotic songs and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and, directed by Professor W. A. Wetzell of the Salt Lake School District, danced to mimic the waving of a flag in the breeze. Even allowing for excess of sentiment expressed by the newspapers, the Living Flag was without doubt an emotional, spectacular success.
Plans called for the Living Flag to fall into the line of march when the last group of soldiers turned to retrace their steps up Main Street. The mid-August day, however, was clear and sunny, with little breeze, and temperatures soon climbed to ninety-seven degrees. The children, with no protection from the sun and despite the water and lemonade constantly passed to them, began to droop and finally to drop. The flag continued singing as one child after another passed out and was carried to the ambulances. But when the children began to faint in numbers too large for the ambulances to keep up with, and as their watching parents broke through restraining ropes and threatened to collapse the grandstand as they reached for their children, Professor Wetzell dismissed them, many being then carried to the shady lawn of a nearby house reserved especially for the Living Flag. In all, some sixty children and forty marching veterans were taken to the emergency hospital, while an untold number of others fell out but revived with medical attention on the parade route..." Source: Author Ardis E. Parshall - BYU Studies Center 'This Splendid Outpouring of Welcome' Salt Lake City and the 1909 National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic