The nickname “Old Glory” for that unmistakable banner of stars and stripes originates from a single fabled flag that was first hoisted on the 19th century ship “Charles Doggett.” After newly appointed master mariner William Driver was named commander of Doggett, his mother did what we imagine any proud and doting mother would in 1824: She organized a number of local women to create a memento of home for her boy. And thus they fabricated a flag, complete with 24 stars, one for each state in the Union, which would fly from his ship’s mast.
From the coasts of China through the strait of Gibraltar and across the endless oceans, Driver revered the flag as his, “staunch companion and protection.” After retiring from merchant seafaring, he raised the flag in his new, landlocked Nashville home, only for Tennessee to secede from the Union shortly thereafter. With his own sons joining the Confederacy, the flag quickly became a point of conflict and liability. In order to protect it from desecration and destruction, Driver, with the help of Union loyalist women, sewed it into a coverlet. It wasn’t until Nashville fell to the Union’s Sixth Ohio troops that “Old Glory” was finally uncovered and hoisted again. Pay homage.