Happy 4th July to all American members!
Here in this 900 year old village in Northern England, the Stars and Stripes are flown every 4th of July from the local church tower for a very special reason.
The question is why is the Stars and Stripes being flown in this particular village. and what connection do these two well known people have with the flag being flown?
To give you a clue its one of these three reasons. If you don't know the answer have a guess !
1) This village is the ancestral home of George Washington and Winston Churchill and Diana are related to the Washngton family line.
2) The village flies the flag every 4th July to commemorate an outstanding act of bravery by a WW2 USAF Bomber crew, who sacrificed their lives by staying in their badly damaged plane instead of bailing out, to ensure that the plane did not crash on the village. The plane crashed into the nearby hill shown on the photo.
Churchill and Diana presented flags to the village over the years to commemorate this event.
3) General Dwight D Eisenhower(later President Eisenhower), used to worship in the church regularly during WW2 and the flag is flown to honor the fact.
Churchill presented the first flag in 1944 and Diana presented the latest flag in 1996.
Answers on Friday 5th July.
OK, here is the correct answer:-
The stars and stripes is flown because the village is the ancestral home of the Washington's
In particular the most famous member of the Washington family was George Washington of course, who led the Continental Army that fought the War of Independence,and became the first US President. The name of the English village is Warton , which is located near the town of Lancaster.
It was Colonel John Washington, the great-grandfather of George Washington, who emigrated to Virginia in 1659 and started the American branch of the Washington family.
The Washington's had been resident in Warton since the 14th century after moving from Durham in the NE of England.
Two of the Washington family were involved in the building of the church,Lawrence and Robert Washington, and the Washington family coat of arms was built into the stonework of the church.
The coat-of-arms followed the Washington family to America and eventually became the flag of Washington DC.
Because the Washington coat-of-arms is made up of stars and stripes it is claimed by some that it originally formed the basis for the design of the American flag, but not all experts agree.
The present day flag that flies at Warton was provided by the White House after it originally flew on the Capitol Building on May 11th 1966.
And how are Winston Churchill and Lady Dianna linked to the flag flying at Warton?
The clue is in their names, Winston Spencer Churchill, and Dianna was originally Dianna Spencer before she was married. The Spencer dynasty who eventually spawned them both, are linked to the Washington family.
Meghan Markle by marrying Prince Harry, has also now become linked through the Spencer line to the Washington's.
This is the Washington family tree displayed in the church.
And of course no English village would be complete without a pub, which has been named after the great man.
" Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair: the rest is in the hands of God."
President George Washington 1732-1799.
Finally, what made Colonel John Washington want to emigrate to America?
It was Oliver Cromwell and a woman.
As the Rector of Purleigh and a loyal Royalist in the English Civil War, he was eventually stripped of his living by Oliver Cromwell's Roundhead Puritans in 1643, and decided to invest in a merchant ship carrying tobacco between Virginia and England. He decided to stay after meeting and marrying a Virginian woman.
Hope you enjoyed learning a little about how it all began!
Why Is the Stars and Stripes Flown Every 4th July In this English Village Church
Blog entry posted by liverock, Jul 10, 2018.
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