How the Flag Came to be Called Old Glory | Vielles Gloires | Forum


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How the Flag Came to be Called Old Glory
4 avril 2018
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Nombre de messages du forum : 9
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16 février 2018
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A tale of fidelity, family feud and argument over ownership is the subject of a new inquiry by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Old Glory, the weather-beaten 17- by 10-foot banner that has long been a primary NMAH artifact, is second only to Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Banner as a patriotic symbol, and is the source of the term now applied generically to all American flags. “It represents success, righteousness, sovereignty,” says museum director John Gray, but also a conflict that is still “deeply contested in our souls.”
During the Civil War, no flag became a more popular symbol of Union loyalty than the worn and imperiled standard belonging to 19th-century sea captain William Driver, who was originally from Salem, Massachusetts. His defiant flying of it—from his Nashville, Tennessee, household during the midst of the conflict— made national news.
Civil War-era citizens felt so passionately about flags that after the surrender of Fort Sumter, the garrison ensign toured the country for the duration of the war. The poet and hospital attendant Walt Whitman lamented the amount of blood spent to retain a simple, four-cornered regimental rag. “I have a little flag….It was taken by the Secesh [secessionists] in a cavalry fight, and rescued by our men in a bloody little skirmish,” Whitman wrote. “It cost three men’s lives, just to get one little flag, four by three.”

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