Flag Day poster from 1917, remembered 96 years later

June 14, 2013

140th US Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. 'Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!" Library of Congress description: "Poster showing a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above." - Wikipedia

140th US Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” Library of Congress description: “Poster showing a man raising the American flag, with a Minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above.” – Wikipedia

Details about the poster, from the Library of Congress:


1777-1917: The 140th flag day. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. The text continues: ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! President Woodrow Wilson remarked, “this flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. Though silent, it speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.”

MEDIUM: 1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 101 x 65 cm.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1917.

NOTES: Forms part of: Willard and Dorothy Straight Collection.

Who was the artist?  Who ordered the printing, and for what specific purpose?  Anyone know? (Still looking for the history of this poster, which has become quite popular in the past two years.)

The Library of Congress sells copies of this poster.

Additional reading in 2013:


“America, Our Home”: Latino patriotism in 6 minutes

September 16, 2012

From the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), a six-minute film commemorating Latino contributions to America, with a Latin version of the “Star-spangled Banner” performed by the Rondstadt Generation.

Can anyone identify the Medal of Honor winner pictured?

Information on the film from MALDEF (links to general information added; specific links from MALDEF):

When MALDEF announced its lawsuit against Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB1070 at the state capitol in Phoenix, President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz took with him an iconic delegation of Latino leaders, renowned as symbols of American perseverance, including Dolores Huerta, Arizona native Richard E. Chavez (brother of Cesar E. Chavez), and legendary recording artist, Linda Ronstadt. These leaders’ contributions to American progress stood in stark contrast to the anti-Latino environment in Arizona; and it was out of that contradiction that MALDEF was inspired to develop “America, Our Home,” a project to set the record straight and celebrate the Latino legacy in the United States. MALDEF staff works relentlessly each day to spread this message, but MALDEF needs your support to ensure that that message reaches every American in every state and municipality across the country.

MALDEF’s compelling short film featuring The Star Spangled Banner from a new collection of American patriotic songs recorded in Mexican musical styles by the group Ronstadt Generations, also titled “America, Our Home.” The film is directed by Edgar Pablos and features the photography of George Rodríguez, well-known for photographing key moments in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement.

The Project: http://www.maldef.org/news/releases/ronstadtgenerations_releases_patrioticsongs/

CD – Sample Songs: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/america-our-home-ep/id540746881

About MALDEF: http://www.maldef.org

Ronstadt Generations: http://www.ronstadtgenerations.com/#!home/mainPage

More:


Flag Day poster from 1917

June 14, 2012

140th US Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. 'Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!" Library of Congress description: "Poster showing a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above." - Wikipedia

140th US Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” Library of Congress description: “Poster showing a man raising the American flag, with a Minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above.” – Wikipedia

Details about the poster, from the Library of Congress:


1777-1917: The 140th flag day. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. The text continues: ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! President Woodrow Wilson remarked, “this flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. Though silent, it speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.”

MEDIUM: 1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 101 x 65 cm.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1917.

NOTES: Forms part of: Willard and Dorothy Straight Collection.

Who was the artist?  Who ordered the printing, and for what specific purpose?  Anyone know?

The Library of Congress sells copies of this poster.


Star-spangled voodoo history

July 16, 2009

Star-spangled Banner and the War of 1812 - The original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem, is among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Star-spangled Banner and the War of 1812 – The original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem, is among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

(Hey, Dear Reader; this post got an update many months later — you may want to check it out for better links and more information.)

Every school kid learns the story of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” or should.

During the War of 1812, Georgetown lawyer Francis Scott Key, stood aboard a British ship in Baltimore Harbor to negotiate the release of his friend, Dr. William Beanes, who had been taken prisoner while the British stormed through Bladensburg, Maryland, after burning Washington, D.C.  Key witnessed the British shelling of Fort McHenry, the guardian of Baltimore’s harbor.  Inspired when he saw the U.S. flag still waving at dawn after a night of constant shelling, Key wrote a poem.

Key published the poem, suggested it might be put to the tune of “Anachreon in Heaven” (a tavern tune popular at the time) — and the popularity of the song grew until Congress designated it the national anthem in 1931.  In telling the story of the latest restoration of that garrison flag now housed at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Smithsonian Magazine repeated the story in the July 2000 issue:  “Our Flag Was Still There.”

It’s a wonderful history with lots of splendid, interesting details (Dolley Madison fleeing the Executive Mansion clutching the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, the guy who had introduced Dolley to James Madison and then snubbed them after they were married; the British troops eating the White House dinner the Madisons left in their haste; the gigantic, 42 by 30 foot flag sewn by Mary Pickersgill, a Baltimore widow trying to support her family; the rag-tag Baltimore militia stopping cold “Wellington’s Invicibles;” the British massing of 50 boats and gunships; and much more).

It’s a grand and glorious history that stirs the patriotic embers of the most cynical Americans.

And it’s all true.

So it doesn’t deserve the voodoo history version, the bogus history created by some person preaching in a church (I gather from the “amens”) that is making the rounds of the internet, stripped of attribution so we cannot hunt down the fool who is at fault.

We got this in an e-mail yesterday; patriots save us, there must be a hundred repetitions that turn up on Google, not one correcting this horrible distortion of American history.

Horrible distortion of American history

(The full version is a mind-numbing 11 minutes plus.  Some people have put it on other sites.)

Why do I complain?

  1. It was the War of 1812, not the Revolutionary War — there were 15 states, not 13 colonies.
  2. There was no ultimatum to to Baltimore, nor to the U.S., as this fellow describes it.
  3. Key negotiated for the release of one man, Dr. Beanes.  There was no brig full of U.S. prisoners.
  4. It’s Fort McHenry, not “Henry.”  The fort was named after James McHenry, a physician who was one of the foreign-born signers of the Constitution, who had assisted Generals Washington and Lafayette during the American Revolution, and who had served as Secretary of War to Presidents Washington and Adams.
  5. Fort McHenry was a military institution, a fort defending Baltimore Harbor.  It was not a refuge for women and children.
  6. The nation would not have reverted to British rule had Fort McHenry fallen.
  7. There were 50 ships, not hundreds.  Most of them were rafts with guns on them.  Baltimore Harbor is an arm of Chesapeake Bay; Fort McHenry is not on the ocean.
  8. The battle started in daylight.
  9. Bogus quote:  George Washington never said “What sets the American Christian apart from all other people in this world is he will die on his feet before he will live on his knees.”  Tough words.  Spanish Civil War.  Not George Washington.  I particularly hate it when people make up stuff to put in the mouths of great men.  Washington left his diaries and considerably more — we don’t have to make up inspiring stuff, and when we do, we get it wrong.
  10. The battle was not over the flag; the British were trying to take Baltimore, one of America’s great ports.  At this point, they rather needed to since the Baltimore militia had stunned and stopped the ground troops east of the city.  There’s enough American bravery and pluck in this part of the story to merit no exaggerations.
  11. To the best of our knowledge, the British did not specifically target the flag.
  12. There were about 25 American casualties.  Bodies of the dead were not used to hold up the flag pole — a 42 by 30 foot flag has to be on a well-anchored pole, not held up by a few dead bodies stacked around it.

You can probably find even more inaccuracies (please note them in comments if you do).

The entire enterprise is voodoo history.  The name of Key is right; the flag is right; almost everything else is wrong.

Please help:  Can you find who wrote this piece of crap?  Can you learn who the narrator is, and where it was recorded?

I keep finding troubling notes with this on the internet: ‘My school kids are going to see this to get the real story.’  ‘Why are the libs suppressing the truth?’  ‘I didn’t know this true story before, and now I wonder why my teachers wouldn’t tell it.’

It’s voodoo history, folks.  It’s a hoax.  The real story is much better.

If Peter Marshall and David Barton gave a gosh darn about American history, they would muster their mighty “ministries” to correct the inaccuracies in this piece.  But they are silent.

Clearly, it’s not the glorious history of this nation they love.

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Asimov’s tribute to the national anthem

September 23, 2006

The song’s popularity increased enormously during the Civil War. Because the song extolled the national flag—a symbol of loyalty to the Union—Northerners enthusiastically embraced it as a patriotic anthem.

In times of crisis and turmoil, Americans often turn to patriotic symbols for inspiration. Caption from the National Museum of American History (Smithosonian): Elmira Cornet Band, Civil War The song’s popularity increased enormously during the Civil War. Because the song extolled the national flag—a symbol of loyalty to the Union—Northerners enthusiastically embraced it as a patriotic anthem.

The scientist, science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov at one time held the title for the most published human being ever. There were few topics he didn’t have a learned opinion on, and there were many areas of ignorance where a well-trained scientist with a drive to get at the facts could shed a lot of light. His path lighting was not always appreciated. He wrote a guide to the Bible that has earned disdain from many a Christian conservative, thought I suspect that their disdain is really a disguise for the fear that a secular Jew could know the text so well and challenge so many unwarranted, but common, assumptions.

To the surprise of some, Asimov was quite a patriot. His short piece on the four stanzas of the “Star-spangled Banner” demonstrate his patriotism and his love of history, while offering a bit of humor to make it all stick in your mind. I post a complete copy below the fold.

I have not yet found the original publication source for Asimov’s piece; if you know it, or find it, please let me know. I suspect there is copyright attribution to be made, too. I borrowed the text from an on-line source called The Purewater Gazette. Read the rest of this entry »


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