The Flag Rush began as a rush to capture the flag of the winner of the Cane Rush. The year of the winning class would be carried on a flag or banner in the Institute parade. The opposing class would try to capture the flag before the parade began. The Flag Rush eventually became a separate contest occurring sometime during the first term. In 1904, the flag was flown on a tug boat on the Hudson River. The freshmen used a two inch water hose to keep the sophomores from boarding their boat. A rule stating that the flag had to be "stationary, conspicuous and accessible" was added later. In 1914, the flag was posted at the top of a brick gatehouse tower in the Watervliet Reservoir. Several sophomores fell from ladders and scaffolding in attempts to get to the top of the tower. One student nearly drowned and was taken to the hospital. This was the beginning of the end of the flag rush which was discontinued after 1916. A similar rush known as the Banner Rush was held during Freshman Week in the 1950's.
Flag Rush Rules:
Section 2. The rush shall be held at some place exterior to the boundary of Institute property and within three miles of the Carnegie building.
Section 3. Upon the request of the Freshman class through some representative, the Grand Marshal shall appoint a referee from the Senior class. The identity of this referee shall only be disclosed to the above mentioned representative of the Freshman class and the referee so chosen.
Section 4. The Freshmen may locate the flag at any place within boundaries mentioned in Article IV, Section 2 provided that the flag be stationary, conspicuous and accessible from the time of posting of the notice until the completion of the rush. All means for detection of the location of the flag are accorded to the Sophomores. The word stationary shall be interpreted as meaning immovable with respect to the earth, boats or vehicles of any kind not being considered stationary under any circumstances.
Section 5. The flag shall be made of white cloth, not less than twelve inches by eighteen inches in size and shall have the class year painted conspicuously upon it. The use of dummy flags is prohibited, the Freshmen being allowed to post one flag only. Violation of this rule shall cause the rush to be forfeited to the Sophomores.
Section 6. After the referee has seen the flag in place, the Freshmen class through their representative accompanied by a Junior appointed by the referee shall post a notice stating the challenge to the Sophomores as provided for in Article IV,
Section 7. The time of posting of the notice shall be reported by the Junior above mentioned to the referee and shall be the time of commencement of the rush and must be within the limits provided for in Article IV, Section I.
Section 8. The notice shall be on white paper not less than four inches by five inches in size, and shall be posted on the Sophomore bulletin board of the Carnegie if the west door of said building is unlocked, otherwise it may be posted on said door.
Section 9. If the Freshmen maintain the flag in accordance with the foregoing rules for twenty-three hours from the time of posting the notice they shall be declared the winners, otherwise the Sophomore shall be declared the winners.