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June 14, 2014

Flagpole surprise inspires celebration

Local DAR rededicate Delphi's Riley Park pole after 82 years

DELPHI — Nancy Whitaker, a member of the Charles Carroll Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was taking a stroll through Riley Park this winter when she noticed the small plaque on the flagpole there.

To her and what would soon be her fellow DAR members' surprise, the plaque indicated the flagpole had been dedicated to the park in 1932 by the very chapter she was a member of.

The chapter and the city of Delphi decided to celebrate this discovery Friday, the day before Flag Day. The about 25 in attendance also gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's penning of the "Star Spangled Banner," which occurs this year in September.

A new 5-by-8-foot flag was presented to Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser, who then turned it over to the Boy Scouts of Troop 155 for a proper bugle-accompanied raising.

Strasser said he was surprised and humbled to learn of the plaque as well, having lived in the city for more than 30 years. He went on to praise the DAR's volunteer efforts, promotion of education and patriotic endeavors, saying they compared to values also held by those in the community.

"The heart of Carroll County is volunteerism," he said.

Shelley Jones, a member of the Charles Carroll Chapter of the DAR, presented a short history of the American flag. She began with the Continental Congress' Flag Resolution's absence of any kind of guidelines for star design and placement, leaving it up to the seamstresses and painters who would arrange them in either rows or circles.

Even the amount of points in the stars differed, Jones said, adding Betsy Ross preferred them to have five.

It is this absence of guidelines that makes it impossible to tell who exactly made the very first American flag, Jones said, "because the very first flag was made by all of us."

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