Southwest FL – At the February luncheon the Military Officers Association of Sarasota enjoyed a very informative presentation on The Many Faces of Old Glory given by Vane Scott III.
Following the Stars & Stripes Celebration at Patriot Plaza on Monday, to record crowds estimated at over 3,000, with Vane Scott III, Michael Krebs, as Abraham Lincoln, Lauren Nielson, Miss Tampa singing our National Anthem and God Bless America, acapella, and the Pops Orchestra,
Brian McCarty, the event organizer, introduced Vane to the luncheon crowd at the Bird Key Yacht Club. We couldn’t fit the Pops Orchestra in the dining room and Abe was in a heated argument with Fredrick Douglas and couldn’t make our luncheon. So Vane shed his Revolutionary War garb and performed in his Sarasota beach uniform… polo shirt and shorts. The performance was extraordinary by all accounts. Sue Scott played The Many Faces of Old Glory performance music and Vane gave a one-hour performance on how both the “British Union Jack” and “Old Glory” came to be.
We were introduced to the flag of “The Cross of St George”, “The Kings Colors”, the “British Red Ensign”, the “Cross of St Patrick” before we learned the history of “Old Glory”. The historical narrative started in 1770, when King George was still our occupier. Vane moved us adroitly to 1775 and reminded us how mad we were about the tyranny of “Taxation without representation”. He romanced us about Minutemen, the militia, and the Sons of Liberty. We rode with Paul Revere from the North Church yelling; “the British are coming” and sailed the high seas with Captain Parker and John Paul Jones, while bemoaning the sinking of the Bon Homme Richard. Captain Jones was lucky to make it home with the wrong flag drawn by Benjamin Franklin. It was George Washington that finally resolved the issue of how our flag would look… 13 red & white stripes and a field of 5 white pointed starts against a background of blue. Today we know about the Many Faces of Old Glory and that the Star-Spangled Banner, the only official flag that didn’t have 13 stripes.
Vane closed with an sober admonition;
The soft breezes of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that caressed their flag that April’s day still exist, but unfortunately not for all Americans. Along with all the benefits that we enjoy as Americans, there are also obligations. You may be born an American which is one thing but being an American is quite another. We must continue to build on those same foundations, not only as a nation but as individuals, working together to create that perfect union with liberty and justice for all!
MOAS is the Sarasota Chapter of Military Officers Association of America. MOAA is the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers with over 380,000 members. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. For more information visit, www.sarasotamoaa.com