… and this is Old Glory, the first American flag to bear that name.The 12 X 24 foot flag was a made in 1824 as a gift for a sea captain from New England named William Driver. He was so impressed with it, he named it Old Glory. After her retired from the sea, Driver settled in Nashville where he displayed the flag hanging from a locust tree in his yard on Summer Street (now Fifth Avenue). The flag was made with 24 stars. In 1861, Driver had it remade to the then current 31 star version.
When Tennessee seceded, Driver, a Union loyalist, was concerned that his flag would be stolen, so he had it sewn into a quilt for hiding. In February, 1862, nearby Fort Donelson fell, and the Union Army occupied Nashville. When they entered the city, they heard about Captain Driver and his flag. General Ulysses S. Grant sent an officer to ask if the Union Army might raise the large flag over the State Capitol. It flew there for one day.
Captain Driver is buried at Nashville’s City Cemetery. His grave is one of the few places where Congress has authorized the American flag to be flown at night. In 1922, his descendants donated Old Glory to the Smithsonian Institution where it is on display today.