The Real Story Behind Old Glory

 

 

You have given a banner to those who fear you, to be displayed because of the truth.
Psalm 60:4

This Thursday, June 14th, is Flag Day. It commemorates the same day 235 years ago, when, in 1777, the Continental Congress passed a resolution “that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” [i] Since that time, generations of Americans have celebrated the flag as a symbol of our God-given freedoms and God-blessed nation, and in every American military campaign, “Old Glory” has been a symbol of our freedom.

Interestingly, “Old Glory” was the name that Captain William Driver placed on a flag he was presented in 1831. [ii] The nickname given to that flag became so well known that during the Civil War, the Confederates tried unsuccessfully to confiscate and destroy Captain Driver’s flag that he had sewn into his bedcover to protect. [iii] In 1862, when Union soldiers occupied Nashville, Driver took out his flag and flew it over the Capitol as a symbol that “Old Glory” stood firm. [iv]

We still honor “Old Glory” today by celebrating Flag Day each year. The first Flag Day celebration occurred in Wisconsin in 1885, when a schoolteacher had his students observe June 14 as “Flag Birthday,” or “Flag Day.” This idea inspired others around the nation to continue the practice and as the celebrations grew, the idea received national recognition. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation calling for the national celebration of Flag Day, thus establishing it as a national event.[v]

As you celebrate this year’s Flag Day, educate yourself on the greatness of America’s founding, and inspire others to do the same! Happy Flag Day!

 


[i] Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), Vol. VIII, p. 464, June 14, 1777.

[ii] Harriet Ruth Waters Cooke, The Driver Family History (New York: John Wilson and Son, 1889), pp. 180-181.

[iii] Harriet Ruth Waters Cooke, The Driver Family History (New York: John Wilson and Son, 1889), pp. 181-182. See also The Essex Institute of Historical Collections (Salem: The Essex Institute, 1901) Vol. 37, pp. 261-263, Robert S. Rantoul to Charles Kingsbury Miller, June 13, 1900.

[iv] The Essex Institute of Historical Collections (Salem: The Essex Institute, 1901) Vol. 27, pp. 261-263, Robert S. Rantoul to Charles Kingsbury Miller, June 13, 1900. See also Harriet Ruth Waters Cooke, The Driver Family History (New York: John Wilson and Son, 1889), pp. 180-182.

[v] The Encyclopedia Americana (New York: The Encyclopedia Americana, 1919), Vol. 11, p.309, “Flag Day.”
By | 2017-04-07T11:09:43+00:00 January 4th, 2017|Categories: Updates|0 Comments