“Falcon is on the plain at Hadley,” reported the excited Apollo 15 Commander David R. Scott on July 30, 1971. Dave and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin were on the surface of the moon at a site rich with scientific potential. They would be able to make observations and gather samples for some three and a half days and would have for their use the first car on the moon, an electric dune buggy.
But first, the matter of ceremony. Planting the flag, or perhaps a stick or spear before flags were created, has been a tradition in exploration since ancient times, and moon exploration was no exception. They couldn’t, however, count on the wind blowing the flag since there is no air on the moon. So they used a small metal snap-up curtain rod along the top edge of the flag.