Today is observed as Flag Day throughout the United States. According to the National Archives:
|William Driver's Tombstone|
at the Nashville City Cemetery.
Did you also know that Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts, christened our national flag's name "Old Glory"? According to legend, "William Driver's mother and the "girls of Salem" sewed the flag which he hoisted on his first ship and christened "Old Glory." On an 1831 voyage to the South Pacific, Driver's ship was the sole surviving vessel of six that departed Salem the same day. He subsequently escorted sixty-five descendants of the Bounty survivors from Tahiti back to their home on Pitcairn Island and is said to have been convinced that God saved his ship for that purpose." Driver went on to serve as a city council member in Nashville from 1862 to 1864 and again in 1865, but was defeated in his bid to become Nashville's mayor. Captain Driver's grave in the Nashville City Cemetery is only one of three places authorized by Congress where the Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day.
- Today in History: June 14 "Flag Day" - Library of Congress
- "Star-Spangled Banner Back On Display" - Smithsonian Magazine
- Star power: 200 years of change - USA TODAY
- National Flag Day Foundation
- George Zepp. "Flag's 'Old Glory' nickname was spawned by Nashvillian," July 5, 2006 - The Tennessean
- William Driver Tombstone Inscription - Nashville City Cemetery
Gordon Belt is the Director of Public Services for the Tennessee State Library & Archives, and past president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists. On The Posterity Project, Gordon offers reflections on archives, public history, and memory from his home state of Tennessee. His book, John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero, examines the life of Tennessee's first governor, John Sevier, through the lens of history and memory.