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LeRoy Reeves

Last Updated: 10/6/2020 7:41 PM

Le Roy Reeve’s Biography

The late Colonel Le Roy Reeves graduated from Johnson City High School in 1893. Before Reeves developed the design for the Tennessee State flag, he taught in the Johnson City public schools from 1896 to 1898. He then was admitted to the bar in 1899 and practiced law in Johnson City with his father until 1905. Reeves became interested in creating a state flag during his years as an officer in the Tennessee National Guard. In June 1903, he organized a company for the National Guard's Third Regiment, based in Johnson City, and was commissioned a captain. Two years later, Reeves approached several legislators with his flag design and asked them to sponsor legislation to have the flag designated as the official Tennessee State Flag. The general assembly approved the bill on April 17, 1905.

After the approval of the state flag, which was flown first in Johnson City, Reeves went on to have a distinguished legal and military career. He resigned his captaincy in 1906 after service in Virginia and Tracy City and subsequently was appointed major and judge advocate for the Tennessee National Guard. During the Mexican border crisis of the 1910s, Reeves served as acting brigade adjutant and assistant division adjutant. With the entrance of the United States into World War I, Reeves left the National Guard to volunteer for the U.S. Army in January 1918. He was commissioned a major, and after general demobilization he remained in the army, serving in the office of the judge advocate general. In 1920 he was commissioned a major in that army department, and he advanced to the rank of colonel before his retirement in 1940. Reeves died in 1960 and is buried in Johnson City's Oak Hill Cemetery.