Shoppers in downtown Des Moines on September 11, 1874, were curious about a little fruit stand on wheels they saw on the sidewalk. It wasn’t unusual to see the elderly vendor selling fruit at the site, but on that day a large American flag adorned the little stand. When a passerby asked Charles Mooers about the flag, he replied that he was celebrating the anniversary of the War of 1812’s Battle of Plattsburgh. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people.