Pacific Paratrooper

Flag Day 2010

For this years Flag Day, I chose to help celebrate the Star Spangled Banner’s 200 years!  As national treasures go, it was a bargain: $405.90 was paid to Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, who fashioned it from red, blue and undyed wool, plus cotton for the 15 stars to fly at the fortress guarding the city’s harbor.

A collage of 2 women, 1914, at the Smithsonian working to restore the Star-Spangled Banner in a room with a model of a giant squid; by Terry Winters. A collage of 2 women, 1914, at the Smithsonian working to restore the Star-Spangled Banner in a room with a model of a giant squid; by Terry Winters.

An enormous flag, 30 by 42 feet, it was intended as a bold statement to the British warships that were certain to come.  And, when in September 1814, the young United States turned back the invaders in a spectacular battle witnessed by Francis Scott Key, he put his joy into a verse published first as “Defense of Fort M’Henry,” and then, set to the tune of…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 13, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Over four hundred bucks to make a flag? In those days? Wow … it would be interesting to relate that sum to the ‘value’ of gold at the time.
    It seems an awesome amount (unless the coinage was going through a rough patch right then) (I lose track).


    • Had to look this up myself, Argus… from 1792 until 1833, Gold remained at $19.39 an ounce. The price didn’t rise much during the next 70 years except in 1868 when it hit over $27.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So 20 ounces of gold, then?

        At today’s rates (approx 1180 dollars per ounce) she’d have collected almost $24,000 … certainly wouldn’t have been an easy task… it would be interesting to know how much an ‘average’ Joe scored in a year.

        Ben Franklin said to the effect that “to burn two candles, you need to have a ship at sea” which I take to be indicative of the times.

        Thanks for looking it up, gives a wee perspective. Stirring times indeed!


  2. Didn’t know about Mary Pickett. Glad our area flys the flag proudly. We are in a small sub-division outside of town and almost everyone is flying the flag!.


  3. A fabulous post again and a great reminder! I was taught to love and respect the flag when I was young and it was reinforced in school. Too bad they don’t teach things like that anymore. But, alas, we can’t go back. I have discovered the name Key in my family line but have not done enough research yet to see if I can tie Francis Scott in there anywhere! I’m keeping my fingers crossed! 😀


  4. Flag issues here as well, in that there is a proposal to change ours. Many feel we should stick to the flag we have, but flags do change over time and the changes don’t mean we love our country less.


  5. Enjoy the celebration of your flag GP. We still have a flag dilemma over here, as we have the Union Flag (Jack) to symbolise Britain, but each country likes to display its own flag too. There is the Saltire for Scotland, St George’s flag for England, the red dragon flag of Wales, and Northern Ireland still has its own unofficial flag, popular with Unionists there.
    I note that many southern states in the US still fly the Confederate Stars and Bars on public buildings too.
    Best wishes from England, Pete.


    • I didn’t realize the different flags in the UK were any problem – maybe they should make a collage of them all to make one – or cede?
      The CSA flag over here is sometimes used as a cultural statement or protest. It doesn’t offend me as it represents a large part of our history. Some people get their backs up about it, but that [to me] is a personal problem on their part.


      • They only become a problem when used politically GP. The neo-nazis here seem to have hijacked the flag of St George, and often the Union Jack too. The flag in Northern Ireland has issues with the Catholics living there, and is banned from public buildings.
        I also like to see the Confederate flag still being used, as I am very interested in the Civil War. Regards, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Union Jack (ok, Union flag) is an amalgamation. Of sorts …

        It’s easy to think of the UK as a country, it sort-of is but is actually a mini USA in its own right—hence the ‘Union’ part. They seem to muddle along though …


  6. Thank you for linking up.


  1. Pingback: Premio Dardos Award – Value Added to Blogging World | Tribalmystic

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