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.
|Flaget High School|
Flaget High School building after conversion to apartments
|Colour(s)||Blue and White|
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. 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.
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, which compiled a 196-79-17 record from 1945 to 1973 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.
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
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