Thursday, May 1, 2014

MORT's meanderings

    Have a slice of 'humble pie', MORT.       
A guy like me with an ego such as mine, really, reeeeally hates to admit it when he's wrong.   Well now, I'm not saying that my days of shooting from the hip are all behind me but, I am stating unequivocally, that I'm one chastened little journalist.  And, I've just sworn a solemn oath to do a lot more research and digging in the future, before submitting to any of my initial feelings of outrage. Lesson learned.  Mmm, good pie.
Just a couple days ago, I bought some 'Forever' stamps at my local USPS and upon close examination, realized that the blue field of the flag had 'smudgy' white stars in an unusual configuration and the red and white stripes where out of order with the flag I know so well.  I am an artist and I love, 'Old Glory' just as it is; I don't consider it a proper subject for artistic creativity or free-style 'impressionism'.  I'm intolerant of that.
So, when I saw what someone had done to 'my flag' and further, had the unmitigated gall to use it on a United States postage stamp - I flew into snit and wrote a masterful hit piece about this outrage.  Only problem is, that I was wrong.  Dead wrong.
A faithful reader of MORT's meanderings and now, a more-than-ever cherished, faithful reader, was kind enough to call attention to my misplaced outrage.  And wouldn'tcha know it, he did so with documented proof proffered in such a genteel manner that I stood corrected without so much as a bruised ego showing, even a little bit.  
Of course, when this egregious error was brought to my attention, I meejitly jumped onto my Google-cycle and learned to my chagrin, that everything I thought I was correct about, was wrong.   The artist whose work is shown on the stamp had used the flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Great Garrison Flag, as his reference for the stamp design.  Major General George Armistead, Commander of Ft. McHenry in preparation for an expected attack by the British Navy during the War of 1812, had expressed a desire for a very large flag to fly over the Fort "that the British would have no difficulty seeing from a distance".  A Baltimore flagmaker, Mary Young PIckersgill, her daughter, two nieces and two African American servants stitched a huge flag that measured, 30' x 42'.  It withstood shot and shell and was immortalized in the poem by witness to the battle, Francis Scott Key,  Later set to music, it is now of course, our other most beloved symbol of Liberty, "The Star Spangled Banner.
MORT KUFF  © 4-28-2014         (A native of Baltimore, who should have known better.)

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