Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Congressman Thelma Drake letter

4 January 2006

The Honorable Thelma Drake
United States House of Representatives
4772 Euclid Road, Suite E
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

Dear Congressman Drake,

A letter from Senator Nick Rerras was received yesterday saying he forwarded an inquiry on the Navy Jack to you. Nick and I were at the TAB Church a while ago, and at the Norfolk Yacht Club soon after Reagan died where we joined in a program to honor him. Also received yesterday was a copy of a letter from 6 January 1776 (230 years ago) from the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Some days ago I received your 2005 Congressional Report, all together suggest I must write this letter to you.

Some months ago while walking home from Ocean View Christian Reformed Church, I saw you driving in the neighborhood, and in 2004 at the Founders’ Inn, I remember being seated at the same table with you and your husband. In October 2004, I spoke at Congressman Forbes Celebration of Patriots, and on 8 November at Founders’ Inn for the Navy Chaplains’ Conference banquet, where I raised the true First Navy Flag issue.

In July, Randy Forbes forwarded my historically correct proposal of the Washington Cruisers Flag as the Navy Jack to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In August, I moved from South Norfolk to 1039 East Ocean View, from Randy Forbes district to your Congressional District, home of the world’s mightiest Navy base. Now I ask you to actively promote this proposal for a proper and right change. Yet you may ask, “Why?”
1) Since 13 October, Ambassador J. William Middendorf who was Secretary of the Navy in 1975, when for the Bicentennial the Snake Over Stripes Navy Jack was first flown, now agrees that the Snake flag is an error and should be changed. He is also Chairman of the Secretary of the Navy’s Naval History Advisory Committee.
2) On 11 October, I first met with the Early History Branch of the Naval Historical Center. On 21 October, from that office I received an email about an article in a Flag History Journal “Raven” of 2004 that debunks the myth of the Rattlesnake Flag ever having flown on a Continental Navy ship. I received from them a copy of the 53 page article on 12 December and produced a one page summary, which I enclose, along with other one page info items.
3) The Naval Historical Foundation book “The NAVY” published in 2000, shows on page 13 a picture of the Hannah flying the Evergreen Tree of Liberty flag, or Washington Cruisers Flag, with the illustration caption “…the first vessel to fly under the authority of the Continental Congress.”
4) Separate from the historical accuracy issue that is strongly in favor of the Tree of Liberty Flag over the Snake flag, in the Global War for Liberty over Terrorism what is a better symbol for America, a “tall and tough as a tree” Evergreen Tree of Liberty, or a crawling snake, when terrorists are akin to “snakes in the grass”?

For America’s future (building up on our past),

James Renwick Manship, Sr., Chairman


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