Secrets Behind Old Glory Revealed Part 2

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The famous name of ‘Old Glory’ was originated in 1831 by Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts. As he was leaving on one of his many voyages aboard his ship the ‘Charles Doggett’, his friends presented him with a beautiful flag of twenty four stars. As the banner opened and waved in the ocean breeze for the first time, he cried out “Old Glory!” By the time the Civil War broke out, just about everybody in and around Nashville, where he had retired in 1837, recognized Captain Driver’s banner as “Old Glory.” William Driver’s grave rests in the old Nashville City Cemetery and is one of only three places authorized by an act of Congress where the Flag of the United States can be flown 24 hours a day – quite an honor.

Although schools around the country had already been celebrating the American flag’s ‘birthday’ on June 14 every year for over 30 years, it wasn’t until August 3, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th as National Flag Day.

During the War of 1812, a young lawyer and amateur poet named Francis Scott Key wrote what later became the United State’s National Anthem. While witnessing the final enemy attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, he became greatly inspired by the flag’s survival through the bombings and fires. He wrote his verses on the back of a letter he had in his pocket and after his brother had the words published, it immediately became popular across the country. In October of that year, a Baltimore actor sang Mr. Key’s song in a public performance calling it “The Star-Spangled Banner”. History had been made and finally, on March 3, 1931, his song was adopted as our national anthem.

As a child growing up in the United States, you learned to pledge your allegiance to the American flag. But did you know, that after all the current controversy about omitting the ‘Under G-d’ part, that the original pledge went like this: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands – one nation indivisible – with liberty and justice for all.” Ironic, isn’t it? But true nonetheless. That original Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy on September 8, 1892. Bellamy was a circulation manager in Rome, New York and printed those words on thousands of leaflets that were sent out to public schools across the country. Then, on October 12, 1892, more than 12 million children recited the Pledge of Allegiance in their morning classes, thereby beginning a mandatory school-day ritual.

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