How the Yale Sophomores and Freshmen Fight for a Bauble.
It has been a custom observed for years by the freshman class at Yale to hoist a pennant bearing the figures of the class year on the day of the junior promenade. It has been the aim of the freshmen to place their flag in some lofty position where it cannot be removed without much danger to life and limb. According to old time usage it is the duty of the sophomore class to at once remove the flag, and when this is undertaken there is a clash between the respective classes, and before the flag is captured the students have a rush which is admitted by the members of the two upper classes. Last year the flag was placed on the top of the flag pole on the green, and to make sure that no athletic sophomore should tear it down the halyards were cut. This was of no avail; one of their number climbed the pole like a monkey and captured the trophy. On reaching the ground a rush was made for the prize, and during the melee the police arrived on the scene making several arrests. The students were made to pay heavily for their sport and the New Haven treasury received a handsome amount to replace the halyards destroyed.
But in spite of this fact the usual strife for the possession of the flag between the "sophs" and "fresh" was repeated this year. On the day appointed innumerable " '86" flags were seen proudly flaunting in the New Haven breeze. When these were torn down, the freshmen effected the extraordinary feat of hoisting one on the tiptop of the flag pole on the Insurance building, directly over the weather signal. "There it hung," says the account of the affair, "limp and soaked by the rain, while on the sidewalk opposite gathered crowds of students alternately watching the flag and 'giving each other game.' At length, on the roof of the cupola, appeared a number of '85 men, whose appearance was the signal for a chorus of hearty cheers from their class-mates. The supporters of '86 returned a feeble cheer, but their hearts sank as they saw an adventurous sophomore divest himself of his shoes and begin to climb up the flag pole. Breathless the crowd watched him slowly hand over hand mount up the dizzy height. As he touched the flag, which bore the numerals ' '86,' a cheer greeted him, and, as he tore it from its fastenings, the crowd of '85 men below shouted themselves hoarse. The flag was divided of course and the crowd dispersed through the rain. Today's exploit leaves it doubtful what '86 will do next-whether Trinity Church steeple or the summit of the Peabody Museum is to be honored with a piece of blue bunting."