The American flag has many nicknames. It’s commonly referred to as the Star-Spangled Banner and Old Glory. The term “Old Glory,” however, also refers to a specific version of the American flag. It was designed in the early 19th century. Like other versions of the American flag, the Old Glory flag featured a set of horizontal stripes and stars. What is the Old Glory flag exactly, and who was responsible for designing it?
Overview of the Old Glory Flag
The Old Glory flag was an early version of the American flag. It originally featured 24 stars and 13 horizontal stripes. With that said, it was later revised to feature an additional 10 stars — bringing the total star count up to 34. With this revision came the addition of an anchor. A small anchor was added to the corner of the Old Glory flag.
History of the Old Glory Flag
The Old Glory flag was designed by the mother of an American sea captain named William Driver. In 1824, Driver’s mother gave it to him as a gift. Driver had just become a ship captain at the time. To celebrate and recognize his new profession, Driver’s mother sewed a flag for him to display on his ship. This flag was the Old Glory flag.
Of course, neither Driver nor his mother referred to the flag as “Old Glory” at the time. It wasn’t until later when the flag received its namesake. After sailing with it for several years, Driver decided to call it the Old Glory flag. Driver wrote the following regarding the flag’s name: “It has ever been my staunch companion and protection. Savages and heathens, lowly and oppressed, hailed and welcomed it at the far end of the wide world. Then, why should it not be called Old Glory.”
Driver was forced to conceal the Old Glory flag during the Civil War. It’s believed that Driver creates a secret layer within bed linens to hide the Old Glory flag from the confederate forces. After Tennessee had seceded from the Union, police came to Driver’s home to search for the Old Glory flag. They were unable to find it, though, because Driver has concealed it.
Where Is the Old Glory Flag Today?
The Old Glory flag is currently on display at the Peabody Essex Museum. It was donated by the Driver’s daughter, Mary Jane. According to Mary Jane, Driver passed down the Old Glory flag to her as a gift in 1873.