Old Glory’s sailing roots

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Though “the flag” is often referred to as both The Star-Spangled Banner and Old Glory, they are, in fact, two separate flags — and Old Glory, too, made history aboard a sailing ship.

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Old Glory got its name from Capt. William Driver, a patriotic shipmaster from Salem, Mass., for whom it was made in 1824. He flew the flag twice around the world on his whaling brig Charles Doggett. During the Civil War, the retired Driver hid his flag from Confederate soldiers (who tried to hunt it down) by sewing it inside his bedroom quilt.

Old Glory also is housed in the Smithsonian, but remains too threadbare to be displayed.

See related article: "Live history on our 'Star-Spangled' seas"

This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters Section of the July 2009 issue.

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