Stars and Stripes lore

PC-flag-room

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
July 3, 2013

During the American Revolution, a number of patriots made flags for our new nation. Among them were Cornelia Bridges, Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross and Rebecca Young – all of whom were from Pennsylvania – and John Shaw of Annapolis, Md.

Although Betsy Ross had made flags for 50 years and is the best known, there is no proof that she made the first Stars and Stripes. She did make flags for the Pennsylvania State Navy in 1777. The flag popularly known as the “Betsy Ross flag,” which arranged the stars in a circle, did not appear until the early 1790s. According to the oral history, in 1777 three men, George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross, visited Ross in her upholstery shop. Washington pulled a folded piece of paper from his inside coat pocket. On it was a sketch of a flag with 13 red and white stripes and 13 six-pointed stars. Washington asked if Ross could make a flag from the design. Betsy responded, “I do not know, but I will try.” This line was used in the sworn statements of many of Ross’s family members, suggesting that it is a direct quote from her. As the story goes, Ross suggested changing the stars to five points rather than six, showing them how to do it with just one snip of her scissors.

They all agreed to change the design to have stars with five points. On June 14, 1777, Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our official national flag. The moniker of “Old Glory,” however, wasn’t applied to the flag until 1831 when Capt. William Driver of Salem, Mass., was presented a flag of 24 stars for his ship, the USS Charles Doggett. Upon setting sail to rescue the mutineers of the HMS Bounty, the Doggett crew unfurled the flag atop the main-mast, causing Driver immediately to exclaim “Old Glory!” Upon his death in 1886, Driver was buried in the old Nashville City Cemetery, and his grave is one of three places authorized by act of Congress where the flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day.

 

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • The White Company delivers innovation through history

    March 4th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Our standard has always been to build a car able to surmount any road conditions which might be encountered.


    Postcard shows business as usual in 1909

    February 18th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Risqué postcards, like the one shown here, have been around for as long as postcards themselves.
    Prior to the advent of postcards as a private communication medium, those looking


    Missouri’s home-state railroad

    February 11th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Published for the Missouri Pacific–Iron Mountain Railway, the promotional postcard shows a picturesque view as described by the caption: “Along the Missouri River for more than 100 miles


    The early days of downtown

    February 4th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Hardly the downtown of today, this black and white lithographed postcard shows a view looking east-northeast from the Coates House Hotel at 11th Street and Broadway Boulevard.
    Published by


    Ginger Club Businesses offer Snappy Service

    January 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Hoping to bring more business to their block, merchants in the 300 block of East 12th Street organized a Ginger Club, using a Ginger Snap as an emblem.


  • A little slice of Beverly Hills in Independence

    January 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Beverly Hills Acre Tracts. Ideal home sites on easy terms. City conveniences, no city or special taxes, half-acre lots at the price of city lots.”
    So reads the marketing


    The Interurban could get you there

    January 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News The message on this Hall Brothers color postcard mailed on April 24, 1917, to Miss Lula Mercer, care of The Hotel Washington, room 516, Portland, Ore.


    Beauty Springs eternal on Cliff Drive

    January 7th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Fountain and Cliff Drive, North Terrace Park, Kansas City Missouri.”
    So reads the description on this divided back, hand-colored postcard published around 1910.


    Out with the old…

    December 31st, 2014
    by

    Northeast News “Kissing the Rod” “O heart of mine we shouldn’t worry so,
    What we’ve missed of calm we couldn’t have you know,
    What we’ve met of stormy pain and of sorrows


    Holiday wishes from the king of rock

    December 24th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News This week we take a break from historic cards and offer up a jewel for the Elvis Presley fans among us.
    This postcard shows a uniformed Elvis Presley and


  • Local Weather