With this issue Raven continues its standard format: several excellent articles on varied flag topics. Three were presented first as papers at the Association’s annual meeting in 2004; they represent the pinnacle of vexillological scholarship in North America and include the winner of the Captain William Driver Award. A fourth helps us commemorate the bicentennial of the 1803-1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition, contributed from the perspective of European eyes and taking Raven from international to intercontinental.
The Genesis of the “Stars and Bars”
Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr., current first vice president of the Association and leading authority on Civil War Flags—Nashville, Tennessee
The competing claims of two designers of the first flag of Confederate States of America have never been resolved. This paper, explains the history of their dispute, weighs the evidence supporting their cases, and explores the possibility that the actual genesis of the Stars and Bars may have arisen from an altogether different source. This paper won the Driver Award in 2004.
The American City Flag Survey of 2004
Edward B. Kaye, editor of Raven and coordinator of the Association’s flag-design surveys—Portland, Oregon
Nearly 500 respondents to an Internet-based poll rated the designs of the 150 city flags documented in Raven 9/10, American City Flags, as the Association followed its “hands-off” scholarly effort on city flags with a “hands-on” survey of their quality, with spectacular results. The survey validated the basic principles espoused by Good Flag, Bad Flag, and triggered extensive nationwide press coverage.
“Sacred Emblems of Attachment”: The Lewis & Clark Expedition, American Nationalism, and the Colonization of the West
Heinz Tschachler, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria
As the U.S. commemorates the bicentennial of the 1803-06 Lewis & Clark Expedition, this essay explores nationalistic rituals, celebrations, and public displays of nationhood both in the expedition and its immediate aftermath. In the invented traditions deployed in colonial encounters with Native Americans, the U.S. flag articulated the national pride of the young republic and the newly acquired sovereignty of the United States over the native populations and their lands.
Betsy Ross: An American Legend and Patriot Revisited
John B. Harker, fifth-generation descendant of Betsy Ross—Massachusetts/Florida
A family member examines the legend of Betsy Ross’s role in the creation of the first American flag and how that legend became overwhelmingly popular. Previously little-known and unknown evidence that shows Betsy Ross was well known during her lifetime, much earlier than the 1870 William Canby lecture. Such celebrity is strong support for what has been, until now, considered only a family “myth”.
- Edward B. Kaye, Editor
- Editorial Board:
- Scot M. Guenter, San José State University
- Anne M. Platoff, University of California, Santa Barbara
- John M. Purcell, Cleveland State University (emeritus)