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“Alternate red and white,'' reads the law; that meant there should be first a red stripe—the Revolutionary War for Independence; also there being altogether thirteen, six white bars and seven stripes of red-seven Wars!
The prophecy of the flag is clearly indicated by the above laying out of colors, if we may assume that red is time of war and white is time of peace.
We have now completed seven score (140) years of flaglife, and we are already entered into the period of our seventh and last war; so, if the sign does not fail, we are to-day in the course of completing our destiny, “carrying liberty and freedom to all the peoples of the world.”
No more wars can ever be chronicled on our liberty banner, and it would seem by all rules of mysticism and heraldry that the consummation is at hand. The “Spirit of '76,''now full grown into a NATION of free citizens, governed under a Constitution, with the people's rights held sacred, is ready to go forth, as did the knights of old, to succor our less fortunate brother nations to bring them into the outer light of democracy away from their ancient enemy despotism, as represented to-day in the maddened war lords of Central Europe, who have inherited and practiced, even in this enlightened twentieth century, the effete autocracy and feudalism of the Middle Ages.
So with our flag of prophecy flying, our sturdy youth shall go forth in this one hundred and fortieth year and show to the eyes of the Kaiser-ridden Hun his first glimpse of Old Glory, with the promise it contains, even to him, and to his children, of freedom from peonage to self-constituted War Gods, who for the ambition of the few are sacrificing to their Moloch the youth and beauty of a great and wonderful race of people.
To the end that the above may be better understood, we will cite the six epochal American wars that have gone before six in which we were completing our destiny and carrying forward the service of our country to the final peace pact which is to include all the peoples of the world in a world's republic of democracies that will band together all humanity and start the millenium of preparation ; God's final haven to his sin-torn children, as promised in the Scriptures.
THE FIRST RED STRIPE ON LIBERTY'S BANNER. The Battle of Lexington began the struggle for freedom. “A blow was struck which severed the fated chain, whose every link was bolted by act of Parliament, and bound us to the wake of Europe,” said Edward Everett, and he continued in his prophetic speech :
“The brave bark of our youthful fortune was destined henceforth to ride the waves alone. The consequences of that blow are to be felt by ourselves, and the family of nations, till the seventh seal is broken from the apocalyptic volume of the history of empires.”
Thus was the first red stripe drawn on our banner for democracy, and, the Revolutionary War, vindicating the Spirit of '76 passed into history.
THE SECOND STRIPE OF RED. A sullen peace now prevailed for eighteen years, with unrest on the seas. At last it became the duty, as our country saw it, to suppress for good, piracy, flagrantly practiced then by the Barbary powers. For four years, between 1801 and 1805, we were intermittently engaged in war with Tripoli and the neighboring North African States. Quoting the words of Pope Pius the Seventh, “Americans have in this war done more good for Christendom against the pirates than all of Europe combined.”
Again we were rested and the second zone of white was recorded.
THE THIRD STRIPE OF RED. The war of 1812, known also as the “Second War of Independence,'' had to be fought with England. The right of American vessels to sail unmolested from port to port had to be forced from the Mistress of Seas. This final acknowledgment of American independence was sealed with the Battle of New Orleans, after two years and eight months of conflict on land and water. We had then completed another chapter in our destiny, as recorded in the third red stripe on the flag of prophecy and its story of Freedom.
THE FOURTH STRIPE OF RED. Mexico, our neighbor to the south, with her traditions brought from feudal Spain, had next to be dealt with. Our border people had to be freed from molestation; Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico, the great Southwest, had to be quieted and made secure. As a part of our destiny, it was necessary to balance and round out our own republic of commonwealths. • To this end we fought in 1847 our great Mexican War, paid in money for territory attained, and went forthwith back to the plow and to our own business of gathering strength for the work that was yet to come.
The Fifth RED STRIPE. Thirteen States-fateful number-had struck for liberty in 1775. In 1861 thirteen States, with the idea that liberty also included a license to withdraw from the republic when they pleased, went out. The time now came when we were to be born again into a completed solidarity—a Nation. This was accomplished after four years of travail, and with the surrender at Appomattox, there stood forth finally a completed nation of free and untrammelled people, the constellation on our union jack again shone out with pristine beauty, and the Star Spangled Banner was nailed forever to the masthead..
The Sixth RED STRIPE. . Our banner of freedom in 1898 began its world's destiny. By an oversea victory, with Spain as our opponent, we released a struggling people in Cuba and extended our beneficence to include the Philippines and several other weak peoples.
Here, in marking our sixth red stripe, we at once challenged the attention of Europe and all the world to the fact that there now existed in the West a mighty champion of right. Since the day of our victory we have been given a respect such as our Nation had never previously received.
1917—World's WAR. We are now starting into the consummation of our war destiny, and we are to finally demonstrate our flag as one of prophecy in this, its seventh score of years completed.
Quoting the historic words of President Wilson in his great war message:
“The world must be made safe for democracy. We shall fight for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments. To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes. America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured, God helping her.”
So breathes forth to-day the reincarnated “Spirit of '76,” as we proceed to justify our last red bar on the escutcheon of Democracy's Champion in this World's War for Peace.
and after ght for had be
MEETING OF JULY, 1917. The Louisiana Historical Society held its midsummer meeting Tuesday evening, July 17th, in the Cabildo. President Cusachs and the two secretaries were present. The attendance was fair for the season.
The minutes were read, and after correction were approved ; and no business reports being brought forward Mr. Cusachs introduced Dr. Holt, who read the paper he had been requested to prepare at the last meeting, “A Review of the Paper of Major Allison Owen on the History of the Washington Artillery.”
The author presented it as a response to Major Owen's paper, which was a record of the details and dry facts in the life of the famous battery. Dr. Holt, yielding to the popular sentiment of admiration for the Washington Artillery, made a graceful and poetical eulogy which elicited constant bursts of applause that did not subside when the doctor, in scathing sentences, denounced the present war as conducted by the Germans and the supine attitude of the pacifists in regard to it.
Dr. Y. R. Lemonnier arose and offered a few remarks suggested by Dr. Holt's paper, comparing the young men of the present war with those who enlisted, as he had done, in the cause of the Confederacy. Both humorous and pathetic, he held the audience's closest attention. Spontaneous applause that arose from the heart, interrupted him frequently.
Mr. Henry Gill was then introduced by the President. He spoke of a recent conference he had attended at Chautauqua, at which many noted speakers of the country had gathered to decide upon the best plan for laying before the people of the United States the reasons why America is at war. His address made a serious impression on the audience, particularly when he contrasted the scientific thoroughness with which Germany conducted war, with the easy-going chivalry of the nations which still followed the old principle of international warfare. When he closed there seemed to be no desire for any other consideration or discussion.
Mr. Glenk, arising, offered the following names for membership:
Mrs. Peter F. Pescud, 1413 Third Street.
Mr. St. Clair Adams, 416 Hibernia Building.
Mr. Hart, having obtained for the Society from the sister of the late Mrs. Ruth McEnery Stuart, the notices published in the papers after the death of the distinguished writer, contributed them to the archives of the Society.
A motion to adjourn was made, and the meeting, essentially a war-talk meeting, was brought to a close.
A REVIEW OF THE PAPER OF MAJOR ALLISON
OWEN ON THE HISTORY OF THE
By DR. JOSEPH HOLT. These remarks are offered in the spirit of a tribute so richly deserved that silence, repressing sentiments urging to utterance, in this time of national travail, and shadowing menace of the world's bereavement of its most precious jewel, government of, for and by the people, would be to charge my own soul with the disloyalty of indifference and purposeful neglect; for who is not warmly with us is openly or secretly with the enemy.
At our regular meeting in June, a paper entitled “The Washington Artillery,” was read by Major Allison Owen, the commanding officer, giving in outline, breifly condensed for the occasion, a chronological record of events in the history of that famous organization; not entering into an intimate disclosure of the accumulated and treasured incidents of its inner life, the spiritual nucleus of its vitalizing energy that has created, and continues to create, an esprit de corps of the highest attainable standard of chivalry; in numerous campaigns enduring the extreme test under concentrated fire.