A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Glorious Eighth

Today is the Eighth of July, the anniversary of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.  This was done in Philadelphia, Trenton (NJ), and Easton (PA).  The fact of the Declaration having been signed was first announced in the July 5 edition of the Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote.  
The celebrations at Easton featured a reading of the Declaration from the courthouse steps, back then in Centre Square (The Great Square).  There was a band, the ringing of a "liberty bell" cast by the Moravians of Bethlehem, and the unfurling of a flag bearing a device representing the thirteen united colonies.  The crowd gave three loud huzzahs and cried out "May God long preserve and unite the Free and Independent States of America!"

Tradition has always held that the flag unfurled that day is the one shown above, known as the Easton Flag.  However, there is no documentation of this.  The existing flag, somewhat tattered, can be traced back to a flag presented to Capt. Abraham Horn's company of the City Guard prior to their departure to the War of 1812.  It was later presented to the Easton Library Company, and is still displayed there in a protective glass case.  But the fact that this particular specimen of the flag dates only to 1812 does not mean the design was not Revolution-era.  It's just that there is no proof one way or another.

In any case, today (well, technically yesterday, since it is now after midnight) was the big celebration, with Revolutionary re-enactors, a reading of the Declaration, rock and bluegrass performances, a re-enactment of the Delaware Indian treaty, clowns, magicians, and jugglers, and a big fireworks display on the river.  Pretty loud, too, and I'm way up on the cliffs.

This is from last year:

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