News & Publications
Local Flag Buff Uncovers the Saga of the Shaw Flag
FOR RELEASE: April 15, 2010
CONTACT: Patricia Dempsey, 410-626-2539
This story in the news: "City man discovers historic flag error" (The Capital)
Discover the story behind a local flag buff’s quest for a piece of national history. The Rev. Richardson A. Libby, a board member of the Hammond-Harwood House, will give a lecture entitled, “The Saga of the Shaw Flag” as part of St. John’s College’s History Lecture Series. These lectures on Maryland history are co-sponsored by the Anne Arundel Trust for Historic Preservation and Friends of St. John’s College. “Local Stories in Maryland Life” is the theme for this year’s Maryland History Lecture Series. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium on May 18, at 8:15 p.m.
In 1783, John Shaw, a local cabinet maker received a commission to create a flag for the Maryland State House. The flag hung for nine months as the new Congress met in Annapolis, during which time George Washington resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris. In 1983, state archivists painstakingly recreated the original flag, or so they thought. The surprising truth was discovered by Rev. Libby, a flag buff and amateur sleuth when he discovered a watercolor painting done in 1794 by Cotton Millbourne. The watercolor depicted the original flag.
The lecture will be preceded by a candlelit dinner held in Randall Hall. The dinner begins at 7:15 p.m. and reservations must be made by May 14. The price for dinner is $33. To reserve contact Anne Zolkower at 410-626-2507 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.