Dr. Clarence R. Rungee (pronounced Rungy, with a hard g) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1888. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia and received an M.D. degree there, later working as a pharmacist and hospital director. He was active in Republican politics in New Haven for many years, and served on the city’s Board of Aldermen. As a veteran of World War I, Dr. Rungee acted as National Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was National Historian of the Veterans of World War I.
When he died in 1971, Dr. Rungee had one of the most extensive and unusual private collections of flags anywhere. He had obtained more than 600 flags from all parts of the world and from such famous people as General Dwight Eisenhower, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, President Syngman Rhee of South Korea, and President Chaim Weizmann of Israel. In addition to the flags, Dr. Rungee’s private museum included hundreds of autographed photographs of distinguished people. He displayed his flags in many lectures he delivered during the years 1947-1971. After Dr. Rungee’s death his widow, Antoinette Rungee, donated his flags (and copies of many of the autographs) to the Flag Heritage Foundation as the Dr. Clarence R. Rungee Memorial Collection.