Just in time for Flag Day, a free eBook called How the Flag Became Old Glory by Emma Look Scott.
Written in 1912, this illustrated title really covers the history of the flag through poems and prose, beginning with a look at Captain William Driver. The story of Capt. Driver is an interesting one:
…Captain Driver was presented by the citizens with a large bunting flag in commendation of his services upon the sea and his well-known love for his country’s emblem. This flag, when presented, was rolled in the form of a triangle, and the halyards bent. A young sailor, stepping forward, said: “In ancient times, when an ocean voyage was looked upon with superstitious dread, it was the custom on the eve of departure to roll the banner in form of a triangle. When ready and bent like this, a priest stepped forward and, taking the banner in his hand, sprinkled it with consecrated water and dedicated it to ‘God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,’ turning the point of the triangle upward at the name of each, thus calling on that sacred unity of Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier to bless the national emblem and prosper the voyagers and their friends. The flag thus consecrated was then hoisted to the masthead.”
With glistening eyes the captain watched the hoisting of the flag; and as it fell into position at the masthead of his ship and the colors unfurled to the breeze, he shouted: “I’ll call her Old Glory, boys, Old Glory!”
The tale continues through the Civil War when Confederate soldiers frequently searched Captain Driver’s home for the flag, but unsuccessfully.
It remained for yet another conflict after the civil strife to bring the name Old Glory into general and popular use, for the blended ranks of the Blue and the Gray opposed a common foe. When the North and the South joined hands against a foreign power and floated the Stars and Stripes above the emblem of Spain upon the island of Cuba, the flag of the Union became Old Glory to every man of the nation.
From this beginning, the text returns back at the Revolutionary War and relates stories of Old Glory through history, encountering figures such as:
- John Paul Jones.
- George Washington.
- Andrew Jackson.
- General Philip Kearney.
- Stonewall Jackson.
- David G. Farragut.
- General Grant.
- General Lee.
An interesting look at the role Old Glory has played through time. And free!
We have added this book to our Flag Day unit study.