Why Is the US Flag Called Old Glory

Old Glory is an old nickname used to refer to the flag of the United States, conferred by William Driver, a nineteenth century American sea captain. The term may also refer in particular to the very flag owned by the Driver himself, which is now one of the United States most valued historical artifacts.

Original Reference

The original Old Glory was crafted and handed over to the young Captain Driver by his mother and few women of Massachusetts. The year is not exactly known, but it is certain that it would be somewhere in 1820s. By measurement, it is a huge (10 x 17 sq feet) flag, made of some what heavy material to stand the fluttering while hoisted over a ship’s mast.

US Flag Why Is the US Flag Called Old Glory

As per design prevalent at that time it had 24 stars, symbolizing its nautical orientation. It also included a tiny anchor symbol sewn in the corner of its blue portion.

The captain took pride on the special gift he received, and always kept it in his possession. According to some accounts, it was he who first branded the flag with the title “Old Glory,” while he was relinquishing the harbor for a tour around the world in 1831, as commander of the vessel Charles Doggett.

Old Glory had been serving as the official flag of the ship throughout the course of voyage. Due to prolonged weathering effects the flag had frayed at ends, and hence shows evidence of patching at several points of time.

Old Glory during Civil War:

In 1837, Driver retirnig from the sea and stayed at Nashville, Tennessee. He used to flow his cherished flag on all significant historical occasions, with the help of a rope tied across the street, and Old Glory got much more popularised. Untill 1861, it was tailored so as to display 34 stars corresponding with the number of states then in the Union.

In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, Tennesse withdrew from the Union, Driver had clear apprehensions that the Confederate would confiscate and burn Old Glory. He, in order to save the flag from damage, sewed it inside of a pillow or cushion. An interesting account never mentioned in chronicles remains that Driver manged all this concealment with the help of some neighbouring girls.

By the time, the Union was able to re-capture Nashville a year later, Driver went out there to hoist again the Old Glory from the State Capitol spire. On the occasion, the 6th Ohio Regiment, a unit of Federal troops was present whose commander adopted it as their motto. This sentimental occasion was also related to the newspaper.

All the above-mentioned chronology of events contributed to declare the flag a national asset to be preserved for posterity.

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Filed Under: History

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