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The Villages
Sunday, April 14, 2024

DAR members enjoy unique history lesson on evolution of America’s flags

A spirited presentation on the evolution of America’s flags and the awarding of a Braille American flag to a legally-blind Villager highlighted Friday’s meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution John Bartram Chapter.

David Reeve, a 21-year Air Force veteran and member of the U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club, describes the American flag known as the Queen Anne for its resemblance to Great Britain’s flag

David Reeve, a 21-year Air Force veteran, displayed 17 of the flags that had represented the United States, starting with its pre-Revolutionary War days. He also described how each reflected the history and beliefs of the times.

Reeve explained how the earliest flags were strongly influenced by the design and colors of Great Britain – the “mother country.” George Washington’s troops initially fought under a flag, now known as the Queen Anne flag, which featured the Union Jack. Subsequent changes eventually required uniformity and placement of the red and white stripes and the number of points on each star.

Members of the U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club joined with the Daughters of the American Revolution John Bartram Chapter on Friday to learn about the evolution of America’s flags.

The current version, with its 50-star layout, was the inspiration of 17-year-old Robert Heft for a high school design project. His teacher gave him a B-minus for lack of imagination but changed the grade to an A after his design won the nationwide competition.

Reeve developed his program while teaching Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students and was struck by his students’ lack of awareness about the flag.

“I wanted to instill a sense of patriotism in their flag and a feeling of respect for their country,” the Ocala resident said. “Also, as a member of the U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club, I want to improve the image of both bikers and vets in our community.”

DAR members Peggy Best, left, and Connie Price, right, present a specially made American flag to Villager Rosalie Spada.

Earlier in the program, Rosalie Spada, a 24-year resident of Orange Blossom Gardens, received two flags specially prepared for the blind. Spada had served in the Marines during the Korean War.

“They wouldn’t send women overseas, so I was stationed in Cherry Point, N.C. and in Washington, D.C.” she said.

David Reeve developed his flag program while teaching Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students.

Connie Price, representing her DAR chapter, told the audience of Spada’s response to the announcement of the gifts: “I am not handicapped or disabled. I just do the best I can with what I have, just like everyone else.”

More information about Reeve’s motorcycle club and its community involvement is available at usmvmcfl14.com.

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