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Encyclopedia > Old Glory

Old Glory is a common nickname for the Flag of the United States, bestowed by William Driver, an early 19th century American sea captain. National flag and ensign. ... William Driver (1803 - 1886) was a U.S. ship captain. ...

However, it also refers specifically to the flag owned by Driver, which has become one of the U.S.'s most treasured historical artifacts.


Early history

This original Old Glory was made and presented to the young Captain Driver by his mother and some young ladies of his native Salem, Massachusetts. The year is uncertain, but it was probably sometime in the 1820s. It is a large flag, measuring 10 feet by 17 feet, heavily constructed and designed to be flown from a ship's mast. It originally had 24 stars. Settled: 1626 â€“ Incorporated: 1626 Zip Code(s): 01970 â€“ Area Code(s): 351 / 978 Official website: http://www. ...

The captain was very pleased with his gift, and kept it with him always. By most accounts, he first hailed the flag as "Old Glory," when he left harbor for a trip around the world in 1831-1832, as commander of the whaling vessel Charles Doggett. Old Glory served as the ship's official flag throughout the voyage. Some weathering and fraying almost certainly occurred during this severe service, and the flag shows evidence of patching on more than one occasion.

Civil War

Driver retired from the sea in 1837 and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. He flew his beloved flag on all patriotic occasions, using a rope suspended across the street, and Old Glory became well known to the citizenry. By 1861, it was modified to show 34 stars (the number of states then in the Union), most probably by the captain's wife and/or daughter. Nickname: Music City Location in Davidson County and the state of Tennessee Coordinates: Country United States State Tennessee Counties Davidson County Founded: 1779 Incorporated: 1806 Mayor Bill Purcell (D) Area    - City 526. ...

When the Civil War broke out and Tennessee seceded from the union in 1861, Driver knew or feared that the rebel government would attempt to destroy the locally famous Old Glory. He had the flag sewn inside a comforter to conceal it. One curious point, never explained, is that he seems to have had this done by some neighbor girls named Bailey, rather than by his own family. Accounts differ as to whether and how hard the Confederate authorities searched for the flag, but in any event it survived. When Union forces retook Nashville the following year, Driver was able to bring out his flag and hoist it from the state capitol spire, the final time that it would fly from a flagpole. A unit of Federal troops, the Sixth Ohio Regiment, was present, and adopted "Old Glory" as their motto. These dramatic events were reported by many newspapers, and Old Glory became nationally famous. Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert Edward Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties Killed in action: 110,000 Total dead: 360,000 Wounded: 275,200 Killed in action: 93,000 Total dead: 258... Official language(s) English Capital Nashville Largest city Memphis Area  Ranked 36th  - Total 42,169 sq mi (109,247 km²)  - Width 120 miles (195 km)  - Length 440 miles (710 km)  - % water 2. ... Separatism involves setting oneself or others apart. ... Motto: Deo Vindice (Latin: With God As Our Vindicator) Anthem: God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (popular) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (February 4, 1861–May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (April 3–April 10, 1865) Largest city New Orleans... The Tennessee State Capitol, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is the home of the Tennessee legislature. ...

After the war

Driver continued living in Nashville until his death in 1886. He passed on Old Glory to his daughter, Mary Jane Driver Roland, on the occasion of her marriage in 1873. She and her husband Charles, a Union veteran, moved to Wells, Nevada, where they occasionally displayed the flag. A letter exists in which Captain Driver requested the return of the flag just before his death, but for reasons unknown, Mary Jane did not send it back. Around 1907, Mary Jane sewed the deteriorating flag to a bedsheet in order to stabilize it, and subsequently took it with her when she moved to California. Wells, Nevada Wells is a city located in Elko County, Nevada. ...

In 1922, the now-elderly Mary Jane presented the flag to President Warren G. Harding. The President replied with a formal letter of thanks, and transferred Old Glory to the Smithsonian Institution, where it remained for 80 years. Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was an American politician and the 29th President of the United States, serving from 1921 to 1923, when he became the sixth president to die in office. ... The Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle on the National Mall serves as the Institutions headquarters. ...

Nashville exhibit

In 2006, the Smithsonian acceded to a request from the Tennessee State Museum to display Old Glory in Nashville once again. Coupled with other Old Glory-related artifacts and memorabilia from the state library and archives, it will be shown from March to November, in an exhibit entitled Old Glory: An American Treasure Comes Home. Due to its age and fragility, officials of the Smithsonian have stated that once the Nashville exhibit closes, it will never be permitted to travel again.

External links


Bostick, Alan (March 19, 2006). "See the flag that flew around the world". The Tennessean, Life section, p. 5.



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