The Story of Old Glory
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Frances Scott Key
Our national anthem tells the story of the bombing of Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. Frances Scott Key watched the fort being shelled by the British all night, only to find that at dawn our flag was still flying. It sent a message to the enemy that we would not give up the cause of freedom. Those men would continue to fight and they did until they won.
After 9/11/2001 most Americans saw their liberties being challenged and they fell in love again with their flag “Old Glory”. Where did our flag get her name? Was it, too, in a fight for its freedom?
The original Old Glory flag was owned by William Driver, a New England sea captain. He was born March 17, 1803. At the age of 14, Driver apprenticed as a cabin boy on the ship China bound for Italy. This would have been around 1817 - 1818. Driver’s first five voyages were to Italy, two to Calcutta, Gibraltar, and a voyage to Antwerp and Gothenburg. On his sixth voyage, he went to the Fiji Islands and from there on his career was in the South Seas.
Driver was diligent in his work that by that time. He was made master of the ship Charles Doggett at the age of 21. On one of his birthdays, his mother and other ladies sewed him a large American flag 12 feet by 24 feet in size with 24 stars. When presenting it at the outfitting of his ship, it was hoisted up and unfurled in the wind. Captain Driver was asked what he thought of it and he declared, "God bless you. I'll call it 'Old Glory'". At this time "Old Glory" was not the common name of the American flag, but merely Captain Driver's personal nickname for his own American flag.
In 1834, at the age of 34, Captain Driver, after 20 years at sea, retired to Nashville, Tennessee, where he had two brothers living. He married Sarah Jane and together they had nine children.
Retired Captain Driver was an ardent patriot and flew his flag on all occasions, on most every holiday, election days, days of political rallies, and on his birthday. He had a rope strung across the street so that the flag would hang from it.
The Original “Old Glory” 24 Star Flag
This flag became the Official United States Flag on July 4th, 1822. A star was added for the admission of Missouri on August 10th, 1821, and was to last for fourteen years. The presidents who served under this flag included James Monroe (1817-1825), John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), and Andrew Jackson (1829-1837).
The War Between the States
In 1860, Tennessee was being taken over by the Confederates. Captain Driver was well known for his pro-American and anti-secessionist sentiments. After the Confederates tried twice to take his flag from him, to keep it safe, Driver had his wife and daughter mend it. They sewed on additional stars to bring the total number to 34. They arranged the stars so that there was a space in the lower right corner of the blue canton. In this space, Captain Driver appliquéd a small white anchor. Then Captain Driver had some of his pro-Unionist neighbors quilt the flag inside a bed comforter. There the flag was safely hid. Many times the Confederates searched his home and even threatened to burn down his home and endangered his life, but he would rather die than to give up that flag.
The 35 Star Flag
This flag became the Official United States Flag on July 4th, 1863. A star was added for the admission of West Virginia on June 20th, 1863 and was to last for 2 years. The two presidents to serve under this flag were Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and Andrew Johnson (1865-1869).
In 1862, the Union Army took Nashville. Captain Driver offered his flag to be flown over the state Capitol building. A military escort accompanied him home for his protection. When the soldiers arrived the bed comforter was ripped open and the flag revealed. The story of Captain Driver's adventure with his flag captured the public’s attention and the story became famous. From that time forward, Americans adopted the nickname "Old Glory" for the American flag.
Something to live for, something to die for!
Captain Driver defended Old Glory, not because it was his idol, but because it was a symbol for liberty & freedom. This was something he lived for and was ready to die for. Today our young people are being taught to express themselves. If that means we burn our flag, then that is our right. Our youth need something to believe in and defend, even if it means to death.
You may be reading this and you have never answered the most important question in your life and that is …
How does anyone get to heaven?
First realize that they cannot get to heaven on their own merits. The Bible says that “For all have sinned and come short (that means everybody can’t get to Heaven on their own) of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Jesus Christ (who is the Son of the living God) came to earth and was born of a virgin woman (therefore he was not born of the curse of mankind) he lived a sinless life and died on a cross for all the sins in the world. Three days later, God the Father raised Him from the dead. He was seen of 500 witnesses and returned to heaven. God’s word says that if we believe these things and call upon the Lord, we will be saved. Romans 10:9 - 13