Jackson Center Announces New “Flags at Nuremberg” Exhibit

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Robert H. Jackson Center

The Robert H. Jackson Center, a non-profit dedicated to promoting liberty under law through the examination of the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, and its relevance to current events and issues, announces the opening of a new exhibit, entitled “Flags at Nuremburg.” Robert H. Jackson Center President Susan Moran Murphy made the announcement.

On June 20, 2017 the Robert H. Jackson Center debuted the exhibit depicting a scene from Justice Jackson’s chambers in the Supreme Court. In the display, the flags of the allied nations of World War II; the United States, France, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom, flank a photograph of these national flags flying at half staff outside the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany in 1945. Below the display, on the desk Jackson used during the Nuremberg Trial, rests a photograph of a nearly identical display in his Supreme Court chambers in Washington, D.C. The significance of this display goes far beyond aesthetics.

In 1949, Alan Y. Cole, a World War II veteran and law clerk to Justice Jackson, remarked to Jackson that the flags at Nuremberg flew at half staff to mark the death of U.S. General George S. Patton. Jackson insisted that Cole must have been mistaken. He did not recall the flags outside the Palace of Justice, in which he spent so much time, ever being lowered. He was furthermore confident that, “The Russians would never lower their flag to honor an American General.”

Cole, however, was certain that his memory served him well; and, after some searching, located a photograph proving it. Justice Jackson was silent when Cole presented the framed photograph to him, but later had it hung in his chambers at the Supreme Court with the flags of the allied nations arrayed above it. This backstory strongly suggests that Jackson hung the picture as a reminder that even he, a Supreme Court Justice, was capable of error.

This tribute to the legacy of Robert H. Jackson was made possible through the generosity of our donors, and specifically Thomas Loftus III, Robert Loftus, and Julia Craighill, three of Jackson’s grandchildren, who provided replica World War II Allied Flags, and Gloria Cole, widow of Alan Cole, who provided the original photograph of the flags flying at half staff outside of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg.

Visit the Jackson Center to view this exhibit and examine the enduring impact of Jamestown’s U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Tour the Jackson Center’s exclusive collections, exhibits, and facilities housed in an iconic 1858 mansion. The center, located at 305 E. Fourth Street in Jamestown, is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm during summer months, and otherwise by appointment. Admission is free, though donations are greatly appreciated.

The Robert H. Jackson Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that envisions a global society where the universal principles of equality, fairness and justice prevail. The Jackson Center invites and engages students of all ages, scholars, educators, national officials and international dignitaries to analyze contemporary issues of peace and justice through the lens of Justice Jackson’s body of work.