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Sun Valley, Idaho (U.S.)

Blaine County

Last modified: 2014-10-04 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of Sun Valley, Idaho] image located by Valentin Poposki, 27 October 2010

See also:

Description of the flag

On the agenda for the 19 February 2009 council meeting was an item to approve the new city seal and flag, and Good Citizen Awards for all who helped in its design. It appears the task was given to Grades 8-10 classes in the school, and instead of choosing one winning design, the city sought outside help and hired a local graphic artist, Andy Hawley, to create a seal using elements from each submission. The list of 16 winners is on the pdf, and the resulting seal and flag are reported to be:

The following have been incorporated in the City Seal "City of Sun Valley" (Sun Valley), Ore Cart (Mining), The "Union Pacific" Railroad Train(1936-64) The first Chairlift, Bald Mountain, Alpine Skis (Skiing), Red Barn,1947, Elk (Wildlife), Sun and Blue Skies, Lupine (Wildflowers, Nature), Fly Fishing (Sports, Recreational Activities).

Details are provided at{EBA9FDF5-5090-4579-9EAC-4E51CD5267D3}&DE={79753A13-0672-4B32-878D-415540702BDE}:

The City of Sun Valley Seal
[Seal of Sun Valley, Idaho]
  • Ore Cart: The ore cart represents an integral part of the Wood River Valley and Blaine County history. Settlement along the roads in Idaho began after mineral discoveries provided an economic base for ranching, irrigated farming, and service communities to supply mining activities. By September 1879, 230 mining claims had been filed in the valley, and the Wood River Mining District was organized. Sawtooth City, Galena, Boulder City, Ketchum and Hailey were some of the communities established due to the mining boom in the surrounding area. The mining towns that survived did so because they fell within the transportation corridor along the river, serving as centers of communication and commerce. Between 1880 and 1889, $12 million of lead and silver was mined in the Wood River Valley.
  • The “Union Pacific” Railroad Train (1936-64): During the 1930s, Union Pacific Railroad Chairman W. A. Harriman saw Americans beginning to embrace winter sports. Harriman’s railroad operated through some of the most scenic and mountainous territory in the western United States. His vision was to develop a world-class winter sports facility served by Union Pacific. His idea for a resort was inspired primarily to increase ridership on his passenger trains. Harriman enlisted Austrian sportsman Count Felix Schaffgotsch to find an ideal location. In the winter of 1935, Count Schaffgotsch found the area that would become Sun Valley in south central Idaho, about 100 miles northeast of Boise. "Among the many attractive spots I have visited, this [location] combines more delightful features than any place I have seen in the United States, Switzerland or Austria, for a winter sports resort," Schoffgotsch wrote to Harriman.
  • The Chairlift: The single-seat chairlifts were developed at the Union Pacific headquarters in Omaha in the summer of 1936. These were the world’s first chairlifts, and were installed on Proctor and Dollar Mountains in the fall of 1936. The original Proctor Mountain Ski Lift is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Why would a railroad invent a chair lift? To provide a service, a "transportation" service, for its customers. Union Pacific passenger trains brought skiers from across the country to Sun Valley and a new, convenient way for them to get to the top of the slopes was the next logical step in the design of a premier ski resort. Meanwhile, nearly 1,200 miles away in Omaha, at Union Pacific Railroad’s headquarters, members of the engineering department were designing various ways to "transport" skiers up the slopes. Several mechanical engineers looked to adapt rope tows, J-bars and cable cars. Jim Curran had worked for an iron works company in Omaha as a structural engineer prior to joining the railroad. Curran’s concept was to adapt a system used to load bunches of bananas onto boats into a "transport" system to move people up slopes. Curran’s design called for replacing the hooks for the bananas with chairs for skiers to sit on, while wearing skis. The chairs would be suspended from a single cable running above the chair. His co-workers thought the idea was too dangerous. Charlie Proctor, a consultant brought in by Union Pacific to help with the design of the resort, was a famous skier from Dartmouth College. He agreed with Curran, and the worlds first chairlift was designed.
  • Bald Mountain: Affectionately known by locals as "Baldy," it is the primary ski mountain of the Sun Valley ski resort with an elevation of 9,150 feet. Baldy’s terrain is renowned for its long runs with consistent pitch, varying levels of difficulty and absence of wind. Baldy's vertical drop is 3400 feet along its northeast face. It is served by 14 ski lifts. Baldy has more uphill capacity per skier than any other ski area. It has 75 runs over 2054 acres. During the summer, Baldy offers nearly 28 miles of hiking and biking trails. The runs are filled with colorful wildflowers. World famous Bald Mountain is accessible year round for a variety of activities.
  • Alpine Skis: Alpine skiing was still in its infancy in America, and it was believed by Sun Valley resort’s management that there were not enough accomplished skiers to justify its development in 1936. It was quickly recognized by the resort's Austrian ski instructors that Baldy was a fantastic ski mountain and needed to be promoted and opened to the public for skiing as soon as possible. These men were among the best skiers in the world, and had fled Austria just before it had come under control of the Nazis in 1938. Originally known as the "Sun Valley International Open," the Harriman Cup races were the first major international ski competitions held in North America, beginning in 1937.
    **Olympic medalists from Sun Valley include Gretchen Fraser, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, and Muffy Davis. Muffy Davis is also a founding and honorary board member of Sun Valley Adaptive Sports. There are runs named after each medalist on Bald Mountain.
  • Red Barn: In 1936, the Union Pacific Land Company of Omaha purchased 3,888 acres (which would become the Sun Valley Resort) bordering the northeast side of Ketchum from Ernest Brass and his sister Eva Brass Veirigg. This purchase included the Brass Ranch, a large dairy and meat storage space, corrals, buildings and several barns and outbuildings. The only original building still standing today is the long barn, known to locals as “The Red Barn.” The Red Barn flanks Sun Valley Road to the south as you enter city limits. It has been a prominent feature in photos and postcards and is decorated in the winter with many colorful holiday lights.
  • 1947: April 14, 1947 is the date the City of Sun Valley was incorporated. The City of Sun Valley celebrated its 60th Anniversary on August 14, 2007 by planting five trees in front of the City’s Administration Offices, and hosting a celebratory reception.
  • Elk: The elk is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest mammals in North America. The City of Sun Valley has a large elk population, and the bull elk was chosen to represent all wildlife that lives in this area. Sun Valley is home to deer, fox, bear, moose, coyotes, wolves, wolverines, mountain lions, raccoon, porcupine, squirrel, trout, eagles, hawks, sage grouse, blue grouse, and abundant variety of fowl, as well as other wildlife.
  • Sun and Blue Skies: Sun Valley is famous for its beautiful blue skies and sunny days. Sun Valley averages over 250 sunny days annually. Average summer temperature is 78 degrees and average winter temperature is 23 degrees, with an annual snowfall of 150 inches.
  • Lupine: Lupine represents one of several wildflowers that are abundant in Sun Valley and the neighboring topography. The unusual climatic conditions that allow for wildflowers to flourish, while snow still blankets the nearby mountain peaks, inspired the resort’s first publicist (Steve Hannigan) to come up with the name "Sun Valley."
  • Fly Fishing: Fly fishing is a distinct and ancient angling method, most renowned for catching trout and salmon. It is one of many recreational activities enjoyed in Sun Valley.
Rob Raeside, 22 February 2009

New details abut the flag can be found at
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 23 September 2009