Growing up, I always enjoyed taking history classes, especially anything that had to do with America. I truly admired the brave pioneers who battled harsh environments to settle this land and I loved reading about the men and women who defended their liberty and freedom. That’s why I want to share with you the rich history of the American flag and why it’s important to honor “Old Glory” on Flag Day.
The story of how “Old Glory” dates all the way back to March 17, 1824. William Driver was celebrating his 21st birthday and was a sea captain from Salem, Massachusetts. On that day, his mother presented him with a brand new beautiful American flag to accompany him on his journeys. Driver was thrilled and immediately named the flag “Old Glory.”
From then on, Old Glory joined Driver on every sea voyage until he quit sailing in 1837 and traded in his sea legs for a permanent home in Nashville. He continued to display this flag from his home on patriotic holidays.
However, when Tennessee broke off from the Union in 1861, the Captain hid Old Glory by sewing her inside his comforter. On the day when Union soldiers entered Nashville, Old Glory emerged once again. Driver proudly carried his flag to the capitol and raised Old Glory to the blue sky.
Before his death, William passed the flag on to his daughter and said, “Mary Jane, this is my ship’s flag, Old Glory. It has been my constant companion. I love it as a mother loves her child. Cherish it as I have cherished it.” The precious heirloom flag remained in the Driver family until 1922 when they donated it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where is currently rests preserved behind glass.
So let’s celebrate our nation, “Old Glory” and the 13 stripes and 50 stars that proudly represent what’s best and brightest about America.