The Chesapeake Bay Flag Association held a meeting at the Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland on November 10, 2007 as they do periodically. The Flag House is the site where Mary Pickersgill had sewn what is now known as the Star Spangled Banner flag, the one that flew over Fort McHenry during the bombardment of Baltimore by the British in 1814. This flag, now in the Smithsonian Institution, is the very flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would become our national anthem. Our thanks to the Flag House for their kind hospitality throughout our visit and especially to Jack Lowe who arranged the entire wonderful afternoon with food and drink for all as well.
The main part of the meeting is the show and tell. Each member provides newly acquired flags or flag-related item to show the other members. Even though each member has a specific interest, each new find is greeted with an attempt to learn more about other specialties. For example, a German national flag was presented by Nick Artimovich as being manufactured in the United States just before our entry into the war. Very unusual. It was probably used at the German embassy or consulate. One of the most inspiring presentations was also WWII-related. Dale Grimes, a teacher, provided two flags that were manufactured at Mare Island at about the same time as the flags flown over Iowa Jima. Very moving video and photos, too.
We also had a number of flags from Chris Bedwell from around the world and around the block. Many are shown and identified here.
We were also provided a great tour of the Flag House itself. Inside the front parlor was a replica of the Star Spangled Banner as it might have looked while it was being sewn. Its sheer size compared to the small room is quite impressive. The family lived in the house for nearly 50 years beginning in 1810 and quite well respected for the manufacture of hand sewn flags. Visit the Flag House at http://www.flaghouse.org for more information.
Later, an auction of donated items from members was held to benefit flag preservation efforts around the world. With a dozen members attending, CBFA raised $320 from the auction of large flags, flag charts, and flag books. Thank you, all.
The Chesapeake Bay Flag Association is scheduled to meet again on February 23, 2008 at the US Marine Corps Museum at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. Anyone with an interest in history or flags is welcome to join. Contact me, Tom Carrier at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.