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Old Glory



Old Glory
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    harding, shipmaster, presented, seafaring, flown, material, perhaps, capitol, glorious, beginning, death, topped, mast, fairly, mystery, occasion
     content words:    Old Flag, Captain William Driver, Charles Doggett, When Driver, Civil War, Captain Driver, William Driver, Sixth Ohio Regiment, United States, Mary Jane Driver Roland


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Old Glory
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Perhaps you have heard people call it the "Grand Old Flag." Or maybe they just say "The Stars and Stripes." How about calling it the "Red, White, and Blue"? One name given to the American flag is "Old Glory." How do you suppose it got that name? The story of "Old Glory" is really quite interesting. There is even a bit of mystery involved in this story.
 
2     Let's start at the beginning. Captain William Driver was a shipmaster out of Salem, Massachusetts. His ship was called the Charles Doggett. He set sail on this ship many times during the 1830s. Before one of his voyages, his mother presented him with a special gift that she and some of her friends had made. The gift was an American flag with twenty-four stars representing the states at that time. This was no small flag. It measured ten feet by seventeen feet. His mother had made the flag of very strong material so that it could be flown from the mast of his ship. When Driver first flew the flag on his ship, he could not get over how glorious it looked. Each day he would marvel at the "Old Glory" that topped his ship.
 
3     Driver kept "Old Glory" with him during his seafaring days. In 1837, he retired from sailing and headed for Nashville, Tennessee. He brought his flag with him and flew it on every patriotic occasion he could. The people in Nashville grew to love Driver's flag just as much as he did. His wife and daughter updated the flag by sewing on more stars after his move. There was now a total of thirty-four. In 1861, Tennessee chose to leave the Union and join the Confederacy in the Civil War. Driver's flag was a symbol of the northern Union. Fearing that rebel soldiers might try to destroy "Old Glory," Driver stopped displaying it. Many soldiers came looking for the flag, but none could find it.

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