An American Flag, Sewn in Scotland, Returns Home

In 1918, a troop ship carrying American soldiers to Europe was torpedoed off the coast of Scotland. Though many were saved from the waters by other ships in the troop convoy, the bodies of nearly 200 soldiers washed ashore on the island of Islay. What ensued was a recovery of the bodies by the island’s residents and military burials. Having no American flag on the island, four women worked overnight to sew one, having only a picture from an encyclopedia to guide them. Eventually, the flag made its way to the United States and the collection of the Smithsonian. Later this year, the flag will be returning to Scotland to mark the centenary of the war’s end.

“Islay’s American flag, hand-sewn on a sorrowful night a century ago and preserved by the Smithsonian for the past century, serves today as a potent reminder of the goodness that can be found in the hearts of ordinary human beings, and inspires them to do extraordinary things in the face of adversity.”

After the war, all the American soldiers, save one, Roy Muncaster, at his family’s request, were repatriated to the United States.

Quite a fascinating — and heartbreaking — story. 🙂

Post header photo, “The Oa” Cliffs, by Ted van den Bergh, licensed Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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