Old Glory – Long May it Wave Over Us!
Living history museums bring the past into the present in many ways.
Not only can visitors to military history museums see the battle brought to life, they can also learn about military symbolism and tradition as it has come to gain meaning in America.
One such historic American symbol that will have its traditional day of celebration is the American flag when Flag Day is recognized on June 14th.
Displayed in military museums like the Museum of the American G.I. all over the country, our Stars and Stripes, also known as Old Glory, is rich in history and symbolism, all of which are acknowledged every year on Flag Day.
The History of Flag Day
Dedicated in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, June 14th was declared as Flag Day in commemoration of the first known American stars and stripes flag that was officialized on June 14, 1777.
The original flag, bearing 13 red and white stripes to represent the states and 13 white stars on a blue field to represent the union, came about during the American Revolution during the formation of the Continental Army.
With a need to have all troops fighting the war under one flag and one command, the Continental Congress brought all of the regiments fighting in different areas together as the Continental Army.
Replacing the separate flags that each regiment had used, the stars and stripes was approved by the Second Continental Congress and became the official flag of the Congressional Army and the entire United States.
As such, June 14th has become one of many historical days in American history that has been recognized each year for over a century as a time to pay tribute to our flag, our freedom, as well as the military members and veterans who have protected both flag and country.
Old Glory - The Origination of the Name
The nickname OId Glory is rumored to have caught on after 1831 when a sea captain by the name of William Driver exclaimed the name upon his first voyage on a new ship.
As it was the custom at that time, new captains were given an American flag.
This one was sewn by his mother and as he hoisted it up, he was quoted as saying: “My ship, my country, and my flag, Old Glory,” a fitting name that would carry on.
When he retired, Driver showed off his flag throughout his hometown, building its notoriety.
The name came to stand for America’s resilience and was solidified as such because Driver’s flag survived the Civil War and the Confederate soldiers who sought it out to destroy it and the town’s spirit.
Driver’s Old Glory, safely stitched into the inside of a bed quilt, not only survived the war but went on to symbolize the American spirit.
The 13-Fold Ceremony
As with the 21-Gun Salute and the playing of TAPS, the 13-Fold flag-folding ceremony is another tradition observed by the military as a means of honoring the war dead and recognizing the significance of the American flag.
The ceremony, which can often be seen being performed at living history museums throughout the country, involves folding Old Glory in a specific way, with each of the 13 folds representing one of the 13 religious principles that America was founded on.
It is also done at military funerals and burials, often with TAPS playing softly in the background, and represents the proper way to fold and present an American flag to the family of the deceased military member.
Celebrate Flag Day - Honor Old Glory And Those Who Protect Her
This June 14th, celebrate Flag Day in a new and memorable way by visiting a military history museum like the Museum of the American G.I.
Displays of flags, memorabilia, and weapons can be seen and it is possible to learn history about important wars and battles that have all shaped this country and helped it become the free nation that it is.
Learn flag etiquette and how to properly hang and display a flag by example and gain an appreciation for the history and symbolism behind those stars and stripes and the name Old Glory.
Don’t forget about Remembering the Fallen Memorial Day weekend event, May 25 thru 29th, which will include living history reenactments, a remembrance event, and a 21-Gun Howitzer salute.
For more information and to purchase tickets, contact the Museum directly.
Visit Military History Museums!
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