Best of the Season to You!

Posted by ractrose on 25 Dec 2019 in Nonfiction
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Born Jolly



And, for today, I have a small historical anecdote, from the American Civil War, with a certain lesson to be derived. 



Respect the Flag


A day or two after we established headquarters at the City Hall, the national flag was hanging over the street, when one of the principal ladies out shopping, caught sight of its shadow on the sidewalk, and as though she might commit herself to something she or her neighbors would not like, rather than pass under it, she crossed over the street and started down the other side. As she did this, Colonel White, of stalwart frame and flowing beard, caught sight of her through the window. Buttoning his coat and hitching up his saber, he walked down the steps and across the street, meeting the lady opposite headquarters. Lifting his hat with dignity and politeness, he took her hand and placing it under his arm said: “Permit me, madam,” and with that led her, trembling and confused, carefully across the street, and then pointing to the flag, he added: “Madam, you seem to fear that the shadow of the stars and stripes will do you some injury, but I assure you, you are mistaken. That flag is the emblem of equal rights for all. It is the banner of our reunited country, and when you think you can pass under it without shying, you will be permitted to go about your business.” After escorting her once more beneath its folds, he gallantly raised his hat again and bade her good morning. The incident, of course, soon became known throughout the town [Macon, Georgia, following Confederate surrender], and it gives me pleasure to add that it needed no repetition.


From Under the Old Flag, memoirs of General James Harrison Wilson, 1912








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