Saturday, May 28, 2011

Long May She Wave

A Pair of Cast Iron Garden Urns Filled with Flags Greet You.
Love May She Wave.

French Wire Plant Stand with  13  Flag Display.

    In honor of  Memorial Day and the holiday weekend , the history of our "Star -Spangled- Banner." The liberty that the Continental Congress afforded flag makers  was partly due to the fact that a national flag was not considered as important as the regimental colors of the Military or the Great Seal of the republic. The flag use was limited primary to military holdings and navel vessels. Continental newspapers did not ever bother to report passage of the flag resolution until 1777.
   How the members of the Congress arrived at a Star -Spangled-Banner of red, white and blue is unknown,but one can see the influence of regimental flags in the design. A blue canton bearing thirteen stars graced  both the flags of New Hampshire's Green Mountain Boys and the Continental Rhode Island Regiment. Boston's radical revolutionary group, the Sons of Liberty, had earlier adopted a red and white stripped flag or rebellion banner. The stripes re-appear in the Continental Colors, also known as the Grand Union Flag, that bore a design of thirteen stripes, alternately red and white, with a blue field in the upper-left-hand corner, bearing the red cross of St.George of England, with the white cross of St. Andrew of Scotland. The Continental Colors remained in general use throughout the colonies  from 1775 until the flag resolution of 1777.The British crosses were dropped to avoid suggestion that the colonies would reconcile with the Crown.

An Old Doll Dress Costume.

Button Collection.

   Although romantic lore often credits a Philadelphia seamstress named Betsy Ross with making the first Stars and Stripes , and Francis Hopkinson  of New Jersey, a signer of the Decoration of Independence,as the creator. Hopkinson was also involved in the design of the Great Seal of the United States. Records show that in 1780, Hopkinson, billed the Continental Congress twenty four dollars for his part in the flag design. Congress refused to pay on the grounds that he had not been the only one to work on the project and he was already being paid a salary.
     Even after the Revolution was won,  Congress paid little attention to the nations offiical banner. When Kentucky and Vermont were admitted to the Union in 1794, it was agreed to represent them on the flag by expanding the number of starts and stripes to fifteen.This fifteen star  version, inspired Francis Scott Key to write the," Star- Spangled-Banner", after witnessing British warship's, steadly bombard Fort McHenry one night ,during the War of 1812. On the back of an envelope, Key scribbled his awe seeing, the Star- Spangled-Banner ,through the Rockets-Red Glare and by the Dawns Early Light. In 1816 the poem was turned into a song.

Night View.

     By 1818,the plan to represent each state with it's own stars and stripes proved unwieldy. With five new states admitted into the Union that year alone,it was clear that the broad stripes would soon become pin stripes. Congress decreed that the flag  go back to thirteen stripes ,alternating red and white, symbolizing the original thirteen colonies, with each state represented by a single star. Each star would be added on the Fourth of July,following the date of admission to the Union. Like the Nation,the flag was growing and ever changing.
   The average citizen continued to view the Nations Flag as primarily a Military Standard, until the Civil War fostered a flag cult among those who saught to preserve the Union. The Stars and Stripes became a rallying symbol, soon  after seccionist  troops bombed Fort Sumter in 1861.The Confederate Secretary of War predicted that the Confederate Flag would fly over the dome of the Old capital in Washington,outraged Northerners reacted by raising the Star Spangled Banner all over town.One account was that Flags floated from the roofs of houses, were flung in the breeze from the Chamber of Congress and the Board of Trade. Spanned the surging streets, decorated the private parlors, glorified the school rooms, festooned the church walls and pulpit and just blossomed every where.

Even the Chickens got into the spirit.

My Mother made this for me, she was in her 70's and took a basket making class.

    Reverence for the flag intensified into a cult religion with the sight of the- Stars and Stripes accompanying men going to war and draping the coffins of fallen soldiers. Yankee mothers even taught their daughters to make small flags-sometimes called Bible flags, because they were tucked into the family Bible.
    The Cult of the flag continued after the civil war ended and gained strength with the celebration of American's as one nation again in 1876.
   In 1892-Francis Bellamy wrote ,"The Pledge of allegiance" for a popular magazine called, The Youth's Companion of America.Congress officially recognized the Pledge in 1943. By 189's, the flag could be seen on everything from pin cushions and pillow cases to pickled pork. There was no official flag guide line- so flag makers were free to follow there fancy-and did!During the first quarter of the 20th century, congress approved a code of flag etiquette and a series of detailed design standards. Today the official flag adheres to strict guidelines and is uniform in appearance and presentation.

Section of an old crazy quilt I found one day antique shopping.
Paper Dolls.

I bring this out every year for the 4th of  July and Memorial Day.

   1777- 13 stars-Delaware,Penn.,New Jersey, Georgia,Conn.,Mass.,Maryland,South Carolina, New Hamp.,Virginia, New York, North Carolina,Rhode Island.
   1795- 15 stars- Vermont,Kentucky
   1818-20 stars- Tenn.,Ohio,Louisiana,Indiana, Mississippi
   1819- 21 stars- Illinois
   1820- 23 stars- Alabama,Maine
   1822- 24 stars- Missouri
   1836- 25 stars-Arkansas
   1837- 26 stars- Michigan
   1845-27 stars- Florida
   1846- 28 stars- Texas
   1847- 29 stars- Iowa
   1848-30 stars- Wisconsin
   1851-31 stars-  California
   1858- 32 stars- Minn.
   1859-33 stars- Oregon
   1861- 34 stars- Kansas
   1863- 35 stars- West Virginia
   1865- 36 stars- Nevada
   1867 - 37 stars- Nebraska
   1877-38 stars- Colorado
   1890-43 stars- North Dakota,South Dakota,Montana, Washington, Idaho
   1891- 44 stars- Wyoming
   1896- 45 stars- Utah
   1908- 46 stars- Oklahoma
   1912-48 stars- New Mexico, Arizona
   1960- 50 stars- Hawaii

This old doll is still in her original box.

A plaster statue from a carnival.

     I would love to share with you the flags and decorations that I have at, My Old Historic House. I put them up at night, so when, dawns early light comes, there they are. I also take them down a few minutes after memorial day, so they will remain special. I have a spot light for the big flag. I bought the big flag at a local yard sale. I am sure it was some poor soles flag from the Military. I don't mind, as that is what memorial day is all about. Who ever it belongs too, be proud as it is on proper display. I do the same things for the Fourth of July.You will not believe the number of tourist that come to my little town and stop to take a picture of the old house with it's flag decorations. I love to watch them. Some get out of the car, others hang out the window. I wish you all could come by and visit. Take a tour, have a glass of ice tea, set on the porches. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. I hope all of you, where ever you are, have a safe, happy, fun and wonderful Memorial Day weekend. God Bless American and  our flag, Long may She Wave.

My Red,White and Blue Kitchen.
The Roses are in full bloom for the festivity.

Long My She Wave!!
Another night time view.

Sissy Dog sends  big wet kisses for a Happy Memorial Day Wish !!!!!!


Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

What fun it would be to come and meet your Sissy dog!!! One day...we will...but this weekend we're repairing storm damage...ugh!!!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Richard:
Well, no-one could accuse you of lacking in patriotism. Certainly no 'reds' under the beds in The Old Historic House!!

Whilst we have Armistice Day in the UK, there is nothing to compare with Memorial Day in the United States about which we are learning much for the first time. Your post today is so interesting for us as it is so very informative, particularly in what you write about the Stars and Stripes, the American flag. You also have a beautiful collection displayed of very attractive items which link with, or are appropriate to, this special day.

We are not at all surprised that your house is much photographed this weekend, an appreciation and recognition of all the time and effort which you have spent in decorating it.

From Eastern Europe, where democracy is sometimes fragile, we wish you a joyous and peaceful day.

mississippi artist said...

I love your decorations.All of the antigue ones are lovely, but I like the simplicity of the flags in the urn too.Give that Sissy a big wet kiss for me!

Richard Cottrell said...

Hope every one has a safe and happy Holiday weekend.

Divine Theatre said...

The heart of a true Patriot is beating under the roof of the Elgin/Cottrell House! Sissy too! Salute the little angel for me, will you?
The story of Francis Scott Key moves me to tears every time. It is so beautiful!
I miss seeing all your posts. I promise to catch up soon...after I plant my 300 boxwoods!

Sissysmom said...

Ahhh...Sissy Dog looks so cute in her red, white and blue! Hope you have a great Memorial Day.

Anna at the Doll House said...

Hello Richard

Thank you for such an interesting history of the American flag. The flag is so symbolic of our national identities, yet the evolutionary process of an individual flag is rarely thought about.

I have a giant flag pole in the garden which was erected by a previous owner. Luckily, the massive, stitched flag was left too. So, on high days and holidays we also fly the flag.


the fishermans cottage said...

Hello Richard, thank you for your help I think I'm OK now...your decorations look amazing and Happy Memorial day x

Barbara F. said...

Hi Richard, I love this post. I wish I could take a tour in person. Your beagle is adorable and I love the patriotic chickens. Visiting from the Tablescaper. xo,

Sarah said...

What a treat it would be to visit your home. Long May She Wave is one of my favorite patriotic books. I was fortunate to see the original NYC exhibit of Kit Hinrichs patriotic collection in July of 2000. I was thrilled when he published his book.
~ Sarah

Snap said...

Sissy is a cutie! It must be such a treat to *really* visit your home. I admit that virtually it's been fun, too! I learned a lot today, too! Thank you! Happy Memorial Day!

Bohemian said...

Richard first let me thank you for your sympathetic comments and sweet words during this sorrowful time for me at the loss of my beloved Rat Boy.

Sissy looks stunning in the Patriotic ensemble! *winks* I don't know if you already have, or plan to, but I really believe with the wealth of knowledge and Treasures you have ammassed that you should seriously consider writing a book... or several books for that matter?!? I always come away from your Posts with greater knowledge and appreciation for History and Styles of Antiques than I had when I came! It is truly a Gift that you have of sharing such knowledge and making it so interesting.

May your Memorial Day be memorable... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... where things are seriously Heating up now *whew*... Dawn... The Bohemian

Marlis said...

Learned a lot.. great post. Loved seeing all your goodies. You certainly have many treasures. Happy Memorial Day. xo marlis

Maison de lin said...


Very interesting post! you have so many treasures and say hello to Sissi.


Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

This is the NICEST Salute to our glorious Country I've seen. I LOVE every word and picture...I MUST go back and re read a few more times...Thank you so much! Of course I'm going to pick out a few things that I truly LOVED... Of course "Lil Sissy Dog" is #1, but you already knew that! #2 is "The Victorian Wire Plant stand"...I have ALWAYS LOVED those and yours is exceptional!
Have a wonderful week,

lvroftiques said...

Happy Memorial day Richard! As always I really enjoyed the lesson! I do know that the red white and blue colors of our flag are in homage to France.
Your house looks amazing decked out in the flag! I can certainly see why the tourists love it! I wish I could be there hanging with Sissy girl on the porch. I also have a huge flag like yours (the GW) and a boudoir doll in the red white and blue *winks*

I have to tell ya Richard that had I seen that window display of yours with the duchesse chaise? I'd have wanted to buy the whole darn thing too!! I think I drooled a little at your description! I've never in all my years of tiquin' seen one here. And the ones I have seen online or at auction go for 10k and up. But I'll keep lookin' because luck to me is when education meets opportunity *winks*...Plus I'm delusional! LOL! Vanna

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...


Your home looks grand with all the flags, bunting and red, white and blue touches! No wonder people stop to take pictures! You have quite a fine collection of patriotic memorabilia. Thank you for the history of the flag.


LA POUYETTE - und die "Dinge des Lebens" said...

Oh my! I'm speechless! What a wonderful collection of flags, banners, decoration and...and...
You are definitely a very passionate collector. Bringing everything into life with a lot of charm and interesting details.
Greetings from the Périgord,

The Tablescaper said...

What an amazing post. So filled with history and a beautiful display of patriotism.

Looking forward to having you be a part of "Where do you keep it all? - Part 2".

- The Tablescaper

xinex said...

What a great display of patriotism, Richard. I hope you had a great Memorial Day..Christine

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

Hi Richard, I love your home- thank you for preserving it for future generations! We need more folks out there like you! I am your newest follower :)

Lizabeth said...

This is a wonderful tribute! Your home truly is a gem- I'm sure I would visit it if I was coming through the area! I enjoyed reading the history story on the flag- there were many things I did not know. The cast iron banister detail on your porch is really special! I found you from a posting on Between Naps on the Porch! Liz

Babs said...

Richard, I LOVE this post and I'm sorry I missed it for Memorial Day. I'm copying some of your ideas for Independence Day.Hope you don't mind. :) Thanks for the inspiration,


Fabulous display of your Patriotism Richard!! Your house looks amazing this way, it's the perfect setting for Patriotic decorations. I love the little dress. How bwautiful everything you've showed and thank you for hosting! I will post my Patriotic table on Monday, I hope you like it my friend. Lots of hugs, FABBY