Flaget High School

Flaget High School was a Catholic College preparatory high school in Louisville, Kentucky's West End from 1942 until 1974. It was located throughout its existence at 44th and River Park Drive, in the Shawnee neighborhood of Louisville.

Coordinates: 38°15′22″N 85°49′30″W / 38.25620°N 85.82500°W

Flaget High School
Flaget High School building after conversion to apartments

United States
Campus typeUrban
Colour(s)Blue and White
AffiliationRoman Catholic


Louisville archbishop John A. Floersh began raising funds for the school in 1941, and a year later purchased the former home of John Henry Whallen at 44th and River Park Drive. The school was named for Benedict Joseph Flaget, the first Bishop of Kentucky.

The classes were taught by Xaverian Brothers who also taught at St. Xavier High School. A dedicated school building was built in 1946 and expanded in 1947 after the razing of the Whallen house. Enrollment passed 1,000 in the 1949–50 school year. Flaget offered students in the predominantly blue-collar West End a chance to attend a college prep high school instead of a vocational school. Many graduates of Flaget would become the first members of their families to attend college. The school produced several notable members of the community, including Citizens Fidelity Bank president Daniel Ulmer, Rohm and Haas president Daniel Ash and University of Louisville trustee George Fischer.

By the 1970s, the school was a victim of changing times, as white flight had seen what was once an all-white neighborhood become integrated and most Catholic families left for the city's southern and eastern suburbs.[1] Flaget won its last championship in any sport, a tie for the state football title, in 1971.

The school became coeducational in its final year, absorbing female students from the recently closed Loretto High School. There were 65 students in the final graduating class. Over 4,200 students graduated from Flaget over the years.

The building was converted in 1982 to an apartment home for the elderly. In 2002 a museum containing Flaget photos and memorabilia was dedicated in the Alumni Building of former rivals St. Xavier.[1]


Flaget High was known for its athletics, winning its first championship, a city golf championship, in 1945. It would also win state championships in basketball in 1960 and track in 1961. It won the Southern Interscholastic Championship in cross country in 1963. However, Flaget became best known for its football program,[2] which compiled a 196-79-17 record from 1945 to 1973[3] Paulie Miller was hired in 1945 as the coach of various sports teams, but became famous as the coach of the football team, establishing St. X as their rivals and winning their first state championship in 1949. Miller coached at Flaget until 1963. The team won state championships again in 1952, 1958, 1961 (41-13 over Fairdale High School), and in 1967 under Norm Mackin (21-7 vs. Thomas Jefferson High School) and 1971 under Pete "The Computer" Compise (a 7-7 tie with Thomas Jefferson) after Miller had stepped down.[4][5]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b Hershberg, Ben (2002-08-05). "Museum is dedicated to the history, spirit of Flaget High School". The Courier-Journal (Louisville).
  2. ^ Ullrich, C. Robert. "History of Flaget High School". Flaget Alumni Association. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  3. ^ Historical Flaget High School Football Scores (1945–1973) provided by HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL DATABASE.
  4. ^ Pillow, John C. "Shawnee: FARMS OF THE 1800S GAVE WAY TO PARK AND DIGNIFIED HOMES; RACIAL MAKEUP HAS CHANGED", The Courier Journal. Accessed June 24, 2007.
  5. ^ PAST KHSAA STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS, Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Accessed June 24, 2007.
  6. ^ Staff. "Bell Rings Again; Knee Better, Gus Ready to Resume Career", The Milwaukee Journal, April 19, 1964. Accessed July 10, 2015. "Bell is one of two men ever to win major letters in four sports at Flaget high school in Louisville."
  7. ^ Darryl Drake: Biography, Arizona Cardinals. Accessed July 10, 2015. "Drake was an All-State performer in football and an All-American in both track and field and basketball at Flaget (Louisville, KY) High School."
  8. ^ Talese, Gay. "Hot Shot Harper", The Courier-Journal, February 20, 1955. Accessed May 1, 2017. "But when Harper was at Flaget he was as anonymous as the mailman. 'I had a broken hand in my senior year at Flaget, you know,' Harper recalled."
  9. ^ Legends of HS Football: Paul Hornung, National High School Hall of Fame inductee, 1989. Accessed June 24, 2007. "Still a major football celebrity at age 69, Hornung was named Kentucky's top high school athlete during his senior year (1952–53) at Flaget High School in Louisville, Ky."
  10. ^ 1991 Dawahares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame Inductees, Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Accessed June 24, 2007. "One of the great athletes who made Flaget High School legendary for its prowess, Howard Schnellenberger played football, basketball and baseball for the former school in Louisville's West End."


  • David N. Aspy and Paulie Miller (1991). Burning Desire: A History of Flaget High School, 1942–1974.
Benedict Joseph Flaget

Benedict Joseph Flaget (November 7, 1763 – February 11, 1850) was a French-born Catholic bishop in the United States. He served as the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown between 1808 and 1839. When the see was transferred to Louisville in 1839, he became Bishop of the Diocese of Louisville where he served from 1839 to 1850.

Dick Leitsch

Richard Joseph Leitsch (May 11, 1935 – June 22, 2018), also known as Richard Valentine Leitsch and more commonly Dick Leitsch, was an American LGBT rights activist. He was president of gay rights group the Mattachine Society in the 1960s. He conceptualized and led the "Sip-In" at Julius' Bar, one of the earliest acts of gay civil disobedience in the United States, LGBT activists used "sip-ins" to attempt to gain the legal right to drink in bars in New York. He was also known for being the first gay reporter to publish an account of the Stonewall Riots and the first person to interview Bette Midler in print media.

Greg Fischer

Gregory E. Fischer (born January 14, 1958) is an American businessman and entrepreneur who is the 50th Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Louisville's Trinity High School and Vanderbilt University.

Fischer ran in the Kentucky Democratic primary for the United States Senate in 2008, where he finished second and received over 209,000 votes (34 percent) among seven candidates.

In November 2010 he was elected Mayor of Louisville in a tight race against city councilman Hal Heiner. He succeeded Mayor Jerry Abramson.

Gus Bell

David Russell "Gus" Bell, Jr. (November 15, 1928 – May 7, 1995) was an American outfielder in Major League Baseball from 1950 through 1964, who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets and Milwaukee Braves. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed; in a 15-year career, Bell was a .281 hitter with 206 home runs and 942 RBIs in 1741 games. Defensively, he recorded a career .985 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions.

Holy Cross High School (Louisville)

Holy Cross High School is a coeducational Catholic high school located in Louisville, Kentucky, United States.

Howard Schnellenberger

Howard Leslie Schnellenberger (born March 16, 1934) is a retired American football coach with long service at both the professional and college levels. He held head coaching positions with the National Football League's Baltimore Colts and in college for the University of Miami, University of Oklahoma, University of Louisville and Florida Atlantic University. He won a national championship with Miami in 1983. Schnellenberger also worked extensively as an assistant coach at the college and pro levels, including as part of the staff of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He is also famous for recruiting Joe Namath to Alabama for Bear Bryant in 1961.

John Henry Whallen

John Henry Whallen (May 1, 1850 – December 3, 1913) was a Democratic Party political boss in Louisville, Kentucky during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in New Orleans, he moved with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio in his youth. As a boy during the Civil War he served the Confederate Army in Schoolfield's Battery as a "powder monkey", a boy who carried gunpowder. He later served as a courier for General John Hunt Morgan.His nicknames included "The Buckingham Boss" and "Napoleon".

Larry Clark (Kentucky politician)

Lawrence D. Clark (born July 24, 1945) is a Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, representing the 46th District since 1984. He is a former Speaker Pro Tempore of the House.

Paul Hornung

Paul Vernon Hornung (born December 23, 1935), nicknamed The Golden Boy, is a former professional American football player and a Hall of Fame running back for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 to 1966. He played on teams that won four NFL titles and the first Super Bowl. He is the first pro football player to win the Heisman Trophy, be selected as the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, win the NFL most valuable player award, and be inducted into both the professional and college football halls of fame.A versatile player, Hornung was a halfback, quarterback, and placekicker. He was an excellent all-around college athlete at Notre Dame, where he played basketball in addition to football.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus (Latin: Dioecesis Columbensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in the Ecclesiastical Province of Cincinnati covering 23 counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. The episcopal see of the diocese is situated at Columbus. As part of the global problem of Catholic Church sexual abuse cases, at least thirty-six clergy of the Columbus Diocese sexually abused children. The diocese was erected on March 3, 1868 by Pope Pius IX out of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. On October 21, 1944 the diocese lost territory when Pope Pius XII erected the Diocese of Steubenville.

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