flag raising ceremony


It was the early 1940s, when 12-year-old Charles “Bob” Martin, a Washington, D.C., kid who had always loved the water, decided to try to rent a boat. So he headed down to the waterfront to ask about the cost. A white man working there told him it would cost $5 to reserve a rowboat, plus a quarter for every hour on the water.

The next week Martin headed back to the waterfront with money he’d cobbled together from his job at a local pharmacy. He saw the same man with the boats for rent.

What happened next remains seared into his memory.

“This man broke my heart,” he said. “I said, ‘I got the quarter,’ and the man looked at me, and I’m quoting him now. He says: 'I don’t know why you keep running around down here to rent a boat, because we do not rent these boats to no — the n-word — so you can just leave here and just not even come back.’ ”

The encounter broke Martin’s heart. But not his resolve. “I’m going home crying to my mom,” Martin remembers. “I said 'Mom, I’m gonna get me a boat.’ ”

Around that same time, just upriver from where Martin was turned away, Lewis T. Green, a shop teacher at a D.C. high school, was trying to create a boat club for himself and other black boaters in the city. Green asked federal officials for permission to use land for his fledgling group, but didn’t have much luck. He eventually got the attention of the philanthropist Mary McLeod Bethune, who in turn contacted her friend, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was then-first lady of the United States. Soon enough, the Interior Department allowed Green the use of a small plot by the railroad tracks near the Anacostia River. It’s where Seafarers Boat Club — now Seafarers Yacht Club — began and where it still stands.

They Built Their Own Boating 'Shangri-La.’ Preserving It May Be Just As Hard

Photos: Beck Harlan



According to an 1890 account, the original John Brown lyrics were a collective effort by a group of Union soldiers who were referring both to the famous John Brown and also, humorously, to a Sergeant John Brown of their own battalion. Various other authors have published additional verses and/or claimed credit for originating the John Brown lyrics and tune.

At a flag-raising ceremony at Fort Warren, near Boston, on Sunday May 12, 1861, the John Brown song was publicly played “perhaps for the first time”. The American Civil War had begun the previous month.

Newspapers reported troops singing the song as they marched in the streets of Boston on July 18, 1861, and there were a “rash” of broadside printings of the song with substantially the same words as the undated John Brown Song! broadside, stated by Kimball to be the first published edition, and the broadside with music by C. S. Marsh copyrighted on July 16, 1861, also published by C.S. Hall . Other publishers also came out with versions of the John Brown Song and claimed copyright.

  • Some researchers have maintained that the tune’s roots go back to a “Negro folk song”, an African-American wedding song from Georgia
  • An African-American version was recorded as “We’ll hang Jeff Davis from a sour Apple Tree”.
  • Anecdotes indicate that versions of “Say, Brothers” were sung as part of African American ring shouts; appearance of the hymn in this call-and-response setting with singing, clapping, stomping, dancing, and extended ecstatic choruses may have given impetus to the development of the well known “Glory hallelujuah” chorus.
  • Given that the tune was developed in an oral tradition, it is impossible to say for certain which of these influences may have played a specific role in the creation of this tune 

The tune was later also used for “The Battle Hymn of the Republic (written in November 1861, published in February 1862; this song was directly inspired by “John Brown’s Body”), “Marching Song of the First Arkansas,” “The Battle Hymn of Cooperation,” “Bummers, Come and Meet Us” , and many other related texts and knock-offs during and immediately after the American Civil War period.

SOURCES: George Kimball, “Origin of the John Brown Song”, New England Magazine, new series 1 (1890) , Blood on the Risers From Wikipedia, James Fuld, 2000 The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk Courier Dover, Pg 32. 

'Feels like dreamland': First Flin Flon Pride begins as rainbow flag raised at city hall

The rainbow flag is flying at city hall in Flin Flon, Man., for the first time, in preparation for the community’s first Pride parade on Saturday.

“You could just feel the love when you were there. Everyone was hugging, everyone was happy,” said organizer Jordana Oulette of the flag raising ceremony.

Around 250 people came out to watch the flag go up at 5 p.m. Friday, including the mayors of Flin Flon and Creighton, Sask.

“It was a huge moment,” Oulette said.

The flag raising marks the beginning of Flin Flon's first Pride,  months after Oulette struck up a committee to organize it in April. Since then, Oulette said she’s only received positive feedback.

“It’s bittersweet,” she said.

Oulette braced herself for backlash aftersome local politicians refused to attend the first Pride parade in Steinbach, Man., in 2016.

“After seeing what Steinbach went through, I was kind of worried that I would have those hoops and hurdles as well, and I haven’t had any pushback at all,” she said.

“It just feels like dreamland to me, because we haven’t had any negativity.”

After seeing the turnout at the flag raising on Friday, Oulette said she’s not worried about the parade on Saturday. But the concerns she’d had earlier show why Pride is important in the community.

“That’s the thing … There’s still that fear,” she said.

People who want to join the parade are invited to meet at the CFAR building at 316 Green St. at 10 a.m., where prizes will be awarded for best float and costume. The parade itself begins at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a community fair from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Oulette said she and other organizers wanted the event to be family-friendly.

“We wanted to do outside the box,” she said. “We wanted to do things … where the whole family could come out and have fun, and it’s not ‘We’re going to a gay pride event,’ it’s 'No, we’re going to a community fair to support pride.’”

15th August 1947: In the absence of an embassy building in England, the High Commissioner of the newly created independent state of Pakistan performs the first flag-raising ceremony at Lancaster House in London.


Still Pursuing Happiness.

Today is September 11 and like the rest of our nation today, we remember and reflect on that day.

After the attacks on that Tuesday morning, both Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resorts closed as a safety precaution and as uncertainty loomed.

13 days later, Disneyland held a special American flag raising ceremony on Main Street USA. It was an affirmation to its guests and to people around the world that although tragedy had struck, the company and its people would move forward and “pursue happiness as vigorously than any time in our history.”

Take a look at the video above of the special ceremony.

* * *

We will never forget.


Did y’all know that President Abraham Lincoln was invited to attend a flag raising ceremony at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina which featured Brevet Major General Robert Anderson (who was the Major Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame at the start of the war)?

He was invited to attend the ceremony but turned down the invitation and sent a letter to be read at the ceremony instead.

Just think, had Lincoln accepted the invitation and gone to Charleston, he wouldn’t have been at Ford’s Theater the night of April 14, 1865 and he wouldn’t have been shot by John Wilkes Booth.