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Keywords: united states | daughters of the american revolution |
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image by Joe McMillan, 11 January 2004
According to the society website, www.dar.org/national-society/who-we-are, "The DAR, founded in 1890, is a volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through
better education for children. As the most inclusive lineal society in the country, DAR boasts 170,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally." The DAR is composed of women who can trace their ancestry
to soldiers or sailors who fought in the American Revolution (on the side of the revolutionaries, of course) or who occupied positions of civil responsibility during that period. The society has considerable relevance from a vexillological
perspective because its state societies were responsible for developing the designs of several state flags, including Arkansas and Iowa, and the DAR was a driving force in the development of the US flag code in the 1920s.
The DAR flag is a vertical triband, light blue-white-light blue, with the DAR emblem on the center below the inscription "National Society" and "D.A.R.". The emblem shows a wheel with 13 spokes and thirteen stars (for the 13 original states) superimposed on a furled flag. I'm not sure when the flag was adopted, but it goes back at least to 1914, when it appeared in the Annin and Co. catalogue.
Source: Observation of flag flying outside DAR national headquarters on 17th Street NW in Washington, DC.
Joe McMillan, 11 January 2004
Many flags are shown in the November, 1951 issue of the National Geographic Magazine: article "The DAR Story" by Lonnelle Aikman (photos by B. Anthony Stewart and John E. Fletcher), p. 565-598.
The official membership emblem is called a 'spinning wheel and distaff' (p. 577). Flags of US states adorn the library (p. 568) and various flags (among them a Union Jack, no less) are marched in during the yearly congress (p. 584-585). On p. 590, a CAR (Children of the American Revolution) flag, "Bemis Heights Society".
Jan Mertens, 11 January 2004
A description at the official DAR website, members.dar.org/committees/insignia/insidex.htm
"The Official Insignia was unanimously adopted by the Board of Management May 26, 1891 and patented September 22, 1891. The golden wheel of the Insignia represents a spinning wheel, the platinum or white gold distaff represents flax, the blue rim and the distaff carry the colors of the Society, and the stars represent the original thirteen colonies."
"Our emblem is a gold wheel
Banded with deepest blue
Each shining spoke tipped with a star
The distaff shining through;
The only jewel in the world
That money cannot buy
Without such proof of ancestry
As no one can deny."
THE HUB: Each loyal Daughter's heart
EACH SPOKE: A thought of those from whom we part;
THE TIE: A noble life well rounded out;
EACH STAR: A deed of kindness as we go about
EACH FLAXEN THREAD: A cord of love to bind us closer day by day;
THE DISTAFF: A rod of love to guide us all the way.
Joe McMillan, 15 January 2004
Some more info gleaned from the article, "The DAR Story", National Geographic Magazine, November 1951.
P. 567: blue and white (flags, ribbons...) are "taken from the staff colors of General Washington".
P. 574, ill. p. 582: case with relics of the fight for independence, ex. "an early 13-star flag". Three horizontal rows of stars, 4-5-4.
P. 580: the DAR promotes "the widespread (and correct) use of the American flag (...). Last year, flag committees distributed to schools, colleges, and other institutions nearly 9,000 flags, ranging from small ones to a giant-sized gift valued, with its flagpole, at $ 1,000."
DAR flags shown on:
p. 584-5: flag parade down the aisle of Constitution Hall (plus many others)
p. 586: flag held near Memorial Statue in front of Administration Building with word SOCIETY visible above the emblem
p. 594: ornamental banner (flag for indoor use I reckon), words DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SOCIETY
visible above the emblem.
Jan Mertens, 23 January 2004
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