the Chequered Flag

In motosports the chequered flag (US checkered flag) is displayed, often waved vigourously and with a grand style, at the start/finish line on racetracks to indicate that the race is officially finished and is displayed until the last participant crosses the finish line. Upon seeing the chequered flag and crossing the finish line, riders are required to slow to a safe speed, and return to their garage.

The chequered flag appears to have originated at the Glidden Tours, a road rally, in 1906. Sidney Walden divided the courses into sections; the time check at the end of each section was performed by race officials called “checkers.” These checkers used chequered flags to identify themselves. The earliest known photographic record of a chequered flag being used to end a race was from the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race held in Long Island, New York.

The image above was discovered on an internet photo site. No credit could be found to acknowledge the originator of the image. Is it a painting or a very very old photograph?

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