The Annual Meeting will be February 11-13, 2022. It will be held at Omni Hotel Richmond, VA. More details to follow.
FAIRFAX RESOLVES AND COLONEL JAMES WOOD II CHAPTERS OF THE VIRGINIA SOCIETY SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION CONDUCTED A FLAG PRESENTATION CEREMONY AT W. W. ROBINSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WOODSTOCK, VIRGINIA.
On 30 November 2021, the Fairfax Resolves and Colonel James Wood II Chapters of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a Flag Presentation ceremony at W. W. Robinson Elementary School, Woodstock, Virginia. They made presentations to eight classes of fourth graders about the colonial history of the flag and the various period attire worn by the colonists during the war. Presentations began with Fairfax Resolves Chapter President David Cook explaining the Sons of the American Revolution, his patriot ancestor and describing the naval uniform he wore.
Next was President Marc Robinson of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter. He described his French and Indian War Uniform and told how many fighters at the beginning of the Revolution wore the outfits in which they fought the French and Indians.
Forrest Crain of Fairfax Resolves continued with a description of a hunters outfit which was used by many in the militia units. Larry McKinley of Fairfax Resolves described his Continental Army uniform which was ordered by George Washington in 1779 to provide consistency in the Continental Army. Washington wanted blue as the primary color, but many units wore brown and green coats as well. Next was Dale Corey with his civilian colonial attire. This was reflective of what was worn at the beginning of the war, when a colonist would wear what he owned. He spoke of the upcoming commemorations of the 250th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War. After descriptions of the various uniforms, the compatriots gave a presentation of the flags in historic sequence. Robinson began with the current 50 star flag and a brief history. McKinley started the walk through history with the British Flag. The first flown in the colonies and lasted for almost 170 years from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 until April 1775 and the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Cook talked of the Grand Union Flag which had 13 red and white stripes and the Union Jack in the field of blue. It was used when Washington took command and flew from 1775 to 1777. Robinson spoke of symbolic flags. Crain described the Gadsden flag known commonly as the "Don't Tread On Me". It depicts a rattlesnake with 13 rattles depicting the 13 colonies who are saying don't step on me. Corey then brought out the Culpeper Minutemen Flag. This was the Gadsden Flag with the words "Liberty or Death" emblazoned to reflect Patrick Henry's speech in 1775 with became the motto of the Culpeper Minutemen. I flew during the Battle of Great Bridge in December of 1775. McKinley described the Liberty Tree Flag. This was tree with the words "An Appeal to Heaven" above the tree. This was inspired by the Liberty Tree in Boston where the colonists who opposed the British would meet. This flag was flown on naval ships. Next, Robinson read about the First Flag Act passed 14 June 1777 requiring official flags to have 13 red and white stripes with 13 white stars on a blue background. Crain discussed the Betsy Ross Flag. This flag has the 13 stripes with seven red and 6 white and a circle of 13 stars on a blue field to signify the 13 original colonies. When Washington showed Betsy Ross the design, it had six pointed stars. According to legend, she suggested five pointed stars as they were easier to make. Cook brought out the Hopkinson's Flag which is given credit by many as being the first official flag. Designed by Francis Hopkinson (a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Congressman) it had the 13 stripes but the stars had six points and were aligned in alternating rows. Three rows of three and two rows of two on the field of blue. McKinley showed the Bennington Flag. It had the 13 stripes, but unlike others in had seven white and six red. In addition, the stars had seven points. There was a star in each of the upper corners of the field with the remaining 11 providing an arch over the number 76 which symbolized the signing of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776. This was the flag flown at the Battle of Bennington in Vermont. Robinson then talked about the Second Flag Act in 1794 that called for 15 stripes and 15 stars to reflect two new States being added to the Union, Vermont and Kentucky. Corey presented the only U.S. Flag to have 15 stripes. It flew for five Presidents, including two who served in the Revolutionary War, Washington and James Monroe. This flag got it's name during the War of 1812. During the Battle of Fort McHenry, the British were bombarding the Fort which Francis Scott Key witnessed. He wrote a poem called the "Defense of Fort McHenry" which was put to music as the "Star Spangled Banner" and became the national anthem. This flag is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Cook then spoke of the 20 Star Flag which was the result of a new Flag Act in 1818. It called for 13 red adn white alternating stripes representing the original colonies and a star for each new State to be added the 4th of July. The last flag act was in 1959. This added two stars for the States of Alaska and Hawaii, giving us the 50 star flag we fly today.
During a meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter at Colonial Heritage Club on November 13, the Virginia Society Chapter Service Medal was Presented to Steve McGuffin. McGuffin has served on the board of managers for three years, first as Historian and then Vice-President for the last two. As Vice-President he has been responsible for obtaining speakers for monthly chapter meetings. Speakers have included the CEO of Colonial Williamsburg, the Executive Director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the renowned scholar/performer of Alexander Hamilton, and the Director of Research and Interpretation for the Preservation Virginia Jamestowne Rediscovery Project.
President Roger Cross, left, is shown presenting the medal to McGuffin.
During a meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter at Colonial Heritage Club on November 13, the Chapter Distinguished Service Medal was presented to David Westenberger. This medal is awarded by the chapter president once per year for exceptional service to the chapter. Westenberger has served on the board of managers for 4 years as Newsletter Editor and Webmaster, during which the chapter newsletter content has been expanded and enhanced significantly and the Webpage has been updated to current standards. He maintains the chapter master database of close to 200 members and produces the printed programs for all events. An extra project this year was preparing all the statements and addresses at year’s end.
Chapter President Roger Cross, left, is pictured presenting the medal to Westenberger.
The Bronze Roger Sherman Medal was awarded by the Williamsburg Chapter to four compatriots in a ceremony at Colonial Heritage Club on November 13. This Medal is given in appreciation and recognition of outstanding services rendered to the Chapter. It reflects the long service of Roger Sherman as one of the founding fathers of the United States, the only person to sign all four of our country’s great state papers
Pictured, L to R, are President Roger Cross who made the presentations to Thomas Morr, James Morford, Duncan McIver, and Milt Holt.
Four new Eagle Scouts were recognized by the Williamsburg Chapter at a Court of Honor of Troop 20 (King of Glory Lutheran Church sponsored) held at Life Church on Longhill Road on December 4. Certificates of Recognition by the National Society and Scholarship Applications were presented by Harley Stewart, chapter chairman of Eagle Scout Recognitions and Scholarships. .
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
Pictured, L to R, are Stewart with Eagle Scouts Alli King, Grace McGonagle, Kirsten Smith, and Skyler Smith
On Sunday, 12 December at the Mt. Vernon Inn. Jeff Thomas, VASSAR President, spoke on the 1774 Society and its plans to mark the graves of the signers of the Fairfax Resolves. The first event will mark the grave of Rev. Townsend Dade, Jr at the Monocacy Cemetery, Beallsville, MD. The event scheduled for 6 February will consist of the placement of a unique Fairfax Resolves marker and a SAR patriot Marker. The DAR already marked the grave. The grave of Col. Charles Broadwater, Broadwater Cemetery, Vienna will be marked on 20 March. The Fairfax Resolves Chapter marked this grave in 1989 so the grave will only receive only the special Fairfax Resolves marker. The graves of the remaining 25 signers will be marked over the coming years with the culminating event being the commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the signing of the Fairfax Resolves in 2024. This public event and plaque dedication will take place on the Market Square in Old Town Alexandria, near the location of the original signing.
Tim Dioquino, spoke of the America 250 Program and its effort to bring attention to and educate the public on American’s semi quincentennial anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He noted the celebration goes through the ratification of the Treaty of Paris and the inclusive nature of the program. All Partners in Patriotism are encouraged to participate and will be recognized by doing so.
Most importantly, the Fairfax Resolves honored to members of the Fairfax Sheriff’s Office finest. Master Deputy Sergeant Thomas Kyl and PFC Jeffery McCaslin were honored by their efforts to help a police academy student through a traumatic family crisis. Their efforts enabled to student to recover and remain in the program and complete the course and reflected well on the teamwork and family bond that exists within the Sheriff’s Office. Captain David O’Neil and Captain Jamie Popik were commended for their bringing the actions of MDS Kyle and PFC McCaslin to the attention of this Chapter.
The program ended with a review of the year’s accomplishments and the induction of the 2021-2022 officers.
Fairfax Sheriff’s Office Deputies Honored with Law Enforcement Commendations. Included in the picture (L to R) are David Cook, President Fairfax Resolves Chapter, PRC Jeffrey McCaslin, Master Deputy Sergeant Thomas Kyle and his lovely wife, Tonya. (Picture by permission of W. Forrest Crain, Fairfax Resolves.)
December 4, 2021 was a day of pageantry as the Norfolk Chapter SAR and Great Bridge Chapter DAR hosted the Commemoration of the Battle of Great Bridge. Norfolk Chapter Past President, Ken Hawkins, and Great Bridge Chapter Regent, Bobbie Gribble, served as master and mistress of ceremony. Along with DAR representatives and others, greetings were rendered by NSSAR President General, Davis Wright, VASSAR President, Jeff Thomas, Chesapeake Mayor, Richard West, Virginia Society CAR President, Sara Cox, and our host site Director of Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation, Elizabeth Goodwin.
A moment of silence was called, and this year’s program was dedicated to Dr. John Thomas Whetstone III, a past president of the Norfolk Chapter who died suddenly on October 1st of this year.
Jon Stull, Foundation Board President, gave a memorable presentation of the Battle and reminded all in attendance of why we remember!
Photo by: Bob Davis
November 13, 2021
During a meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter at Colonial Heritage Club on November 13, the Virginia Service Medal of the Virginia Society was presented to Harley Stewart. Stewart has served on the board of managers for 8 years continuously, 2 as Secretary, 2 as President, and became Public Relations Officer to finish out a 4-year term while serving 2 as Past-President. Public Relations submittals increased at least 4-fold during that time with over 100 during the year 2021 alone. He has also served as chair of Eagle Scout Recognitions and Scholarships. President Roger Cross, left, is shown presenting the medal to Stewart.
Michael Rhodes presented the chapter’s wreath at the 246th anniversary of the Battle of Great Bridge in Chesapeake, Virginia on 4 December. The Battle of Great Bridge was one of earliest battles in the American Revolution. It was a victory for the Americans and was a steppingstone to send the Royal Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, back to England.