Photo of the Mormon Battalion Flag that I took in the office of Eldred G Smith,
the Presiding Patriarch of the Church. He has the one and only original.
President's Day it is meant to honor and remember the past presidents of the U.S. and their contributions to creating the country it is today. Advocates in the 1960′s wanted to honor both Washington and President Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is February 12, on a single federal holiday. February 22 is President George Washington’s actual birthday. Oh, how caliber of Presidents have changed over the years since our Founding Fathers.
I mentioned in an early post that I spent some time with Eldred Smith in his office. I haven't felt that I should share publically much of what was discussed, but thought it would be appropriate to share the following.
Eldred Smith has in his possession the original flag used in the Mormon Battalion. John Smith (Hyrum's oldest son, and Eldred's great grandfather was a standard bearer. It is nine feet long. The flag has the stars and stripes like the American flag.. If you look closely.. the flag used to have the beehive painted in the blue square with 13 stars surrounding the hive (representative of bees) However, an eagle was painted over the hive to best show the allegiance to the United States. He has a photo of him holding the flag while sitting on a horse. Flag was within one foot of the ground. The flag has no sewing on it. It is painted on one piece of linen. It was originally to be the flag of Deseret and they painted over it to become a military flag. Not only was an eagle was painted over the beehive, but the California bear was painted on the center. The words LIFE GUARDS were painted on it. The battalion carried it to California and back.
Early latterday saints really were not "uber" Americas and did not have the allegiance to man made government, but had the goal to bring the Lord's Zion and His government of peace to the earth. However, it seems like The United States literally beat the Church into submission. Now the Church is uber-American. The truest of true American institutions. Many years later in the early 1900's The Republican Party beat the Church into submission during the Smoot Senate Confirmation hearings. Now the Church is uber-Republican. The reddest of red states is Utah.
With each of these events the greater historical pressures on the Church have affected how we have developed. And we continue to develop. Slowly and unpercieved, mind you, but we develop nonetheless.
Gradualism is the way in which even glaciers move. Eventually, however, even glaciers begin to melt when they reach warmer climates.