Cultural Night 2018

Roger Barnett with a unique Rhode Island flag of the Revolution, Gen Sullivan’s Flag. 


Evolution of the American Flag

to be unfurled on “Cultural Night”

The evolution of the American flag from its first conception to the present will be unfurled and demonstrated on Friday, June 8 at 7:00PM at St Michael’s Episcopal Church, 399 Hope St in Bristol.

As part of the Bosworth Lecture Series and the Fourth of July Committee’s “Cultural Night,” Prof Emeritus Roger Barnett of the US Naval War College will showcase the evolution of Old Glory by exhibiting over 20 flags of interest, including some “outside the developmental pathway” of the stars and stripes.

For example, he will exhibit Gen John Sullivan’s Flag, or the Rhode Island Revolutionary War Flag, featuring a rattlesnake and the inscription “Don’t Tread on Me,” reportedly carried by Gen. Sullivan’s Life Guard’s Company during the 1778 battle of RI and his expedition against the American Indians in 1779.

Also participating at this event is long time music instructor and chorus director Joan Roth. Ms Roth will play an assortment of patriotic tunes for audience sing-along both before and after Mr Barnett’s talk, including “It’s a Grand Old Flag, Battle Hymn of the Republic, America” and The National Anthem”

Prof Barnett is an expert in vexillology, the study of flags and their cultural, historical, political and social significance. After his presentation he will offer a recitation of Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag” and take audience questions. The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the door and refreshments will be served.

As part of the 300th Anniversary of St Michael’s Church, Prof Barnett will also give recognition to two American flags on the walls of the Servicemen’s Chapel, flags which flew during the battle of the Coral Sea and the battle of Midway, donated to the church by Rear Admiral Gilbert C Hoover (CMDG).

Roger W. Barnett served in the Navy for 23 years, retiring in the grade of Captain.  In the Navy he commanded the guided missile destroyer Buchanan and was a member of the U.S. Military Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union.

He is the author of two books and co-editor of a third.  He is an avid collector of historical American flags and a member of the North American and New England Vexillological Assocs.  His Bachelor’s degree is from Brown Univ, and he earned a master’s degree and doctorate at the Univ of S California.  He and his wife, Sandra, reside in Portsmouth.

          The Roswell S. Bosworth, Jr Lecture Series is presented by the Men’s Club, a local organization that pays tribute to its founding member, former editor/publisher of the East Bay Newspapers, with lectures of general interest to the R.I. audience.