Sunday, June 13, 2010

Your A Grand Old Flag

You're a Grand Old Flag
Happy Flag Day!
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress of the United States approved the official design for the flag featuring 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes – one for each state. President George Washington interpreted the symbolism of the United States Flag this way: "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."
Most American know that Betsy Ross created the first American flag in 1777 but did you know how the flag came to be known as "Old Glory?"

This famous name was coined by Captain William Driver, a shipmaster of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1831. As he was leaving on one of his many voyages aboard the brig CHARLES DOGGETT - some friends presented him with a beautiful flag of twenty four stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze for the first time, he exclaimed "Old Glory!"

He retired to Nashville in 1837, taking his treasured flag from his sea days with him. By the time the Civil War erupted, most everyone in and around Nashville recognized Captain Driver's "Old Glory." When Tennesee seceded from the Union, Rebels were determined to destroy his flag, but repeated searches revealed no trace of the hated banner.

Then on February 25th, 1862, Union forces captured Nashville and raised the American flag over the capital. It was a rather small ensign and immediately folks began asking Captain Driver if "Old Glory" still existed. Happy to have soldiers with him this time, Captain Driver went home and began ripping at the seams of his bedcover. As the stitches holding the quilt-top to the batting unraveled, the onlookers peered inside and saw the 24-starred original "Old Glory"!

Captain Driver gently gathered up the flag and returned with the soldiers to the capitol. Though he was sixty years old, the Captain climbed up to the tower to replace the smaller banner with his beloved flag. The Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and saluted - and later adopted the nickname "Old Glory" as their own, telling and re-telling the story of Captain Driver's devotion to the flag we honor yet today.

Captain Driver's grave is located in the old Nashville City Cemetery, and is one of three (3) places authorized by act of Congress where the Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day.

Be proud of the flag and all it stands for.

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At June 13, 2010 at 10:42 PM , Blogger Rayna M. Iyer said...

Thanks for the really informative post. It is the people and their stories who make things interesting.

At June 13, 2010 at 10:48 PM , Blogger beverly said...

Loved the info. Good news for all of us. A real tribute to our American life and the men and women who fight so hard to protect the right our "Old Glory" stands for. God bless America.

At June 14, 2010 at 12:39 AM , Blogger welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for sharing this very informative post. a pleasure to read.


At June 14, 2010 at 6:05 AM , Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I am proud and thanks for the history lesson!

At June 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM , Blogger Nola @ the Alamo said...

Glad to see people remembering flag day! Hope you have a wonderful day.

At June 15, 2010 at 10:24 AM , Blogger arlee bird said...

This was an interesting story. I kept thinking that yesterday was a special date for some reason and could think of what it was until I saw your post today. There is an American flag icon on my calendar and it didn't register. When I was a kid Flag Day used to be kind of a big deal, but yesterday nary a mention did I see or hear.

Tossing It Out

At June 15, 2010 at 6:30 PM , Blogger Single and Sane said...

I had never heard the story of Old Glory before. Thanks for sharing it!


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