FLAGS with 15 stars and 15 stripes were raised Monday in the county seats of Belmont, Monroe, Harrison and Jefferson counties as well as elsewhere, but things weren't so tranquil in Eastern Ohio two centuries ago.
The act of declaring war against Great Britain was approved June 18, 1812, by Congress in Washington, D.C., and comments regarding the war weren't subdued in Eastern Ohio.
There were some Eastern Ohio residents who favored the War Hawks led by such men as Congressmen Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, and they apparently were a noisy bunch.
T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
MEMBERS of the St. Clairsville and Flushing American Legion Posts 159 and 366 and the Belmont County commissioners participated Monday in a flag-raising ceremony recognizing the War of 1812. Monroe, Jefferson and Harrison counties also flew the flags with 15 stars and 15 stripes as were used in 1812. As a result of an act of Congress, the 1812 flag is recognized as an official flag of the United States during the three-year bicentennial celebration.
A month after war was declared, U.S. Sen. Thomas Worthington mentioned how sentiments of those in the area between Wheeling and Lancaster, Ohio, seemed divided as to the war - "those advocating it making much noise, those opposed to it being more quiet."
Things weren't quiet in most area county seats Monday, especially in areas where programs were held to draw attention to the significance of the War of 1812.
In Belmont County, members of the St. Clairsville and Flushing American Legion Posts 159 and 366 and the Belmont County commissioners participated in a flag-raising ceremony, and the 15-star flag flew proudly at the courthouse.
A significant part of the conflict was fought in Ohio, including battles at Fort Meigs, Fort Stephenson and the Battle of Lake Erie. The resulting victory solidified American control of the state and the Great Lakes Region.
Participants included St. Clairsville Commander Joe Barker and Legion members Bob Farmer and Roy Mazzer and Flushing members Pat Kovacs and John Ciesie. Commissioners Ginny Favede and Matt Coffland were present as were Amanda Murray and Jack Regis, county employees.
In Woodsfield, Monroe County Commissioner Carl Davis said, "This conflict lasted for over two-and-a-half years, and significant fighting occurred in our own state. Yet, few citizens today know about the history of the conflict and its significance.
"The War of 1812 had a lasting impact on Ohio, bringing about the creation of new towns, spurring settlements, and cementing the cultural and geographic boundaries of the Great Lakes region that exist to this day."
Davis also asked that those attending the ceremony remember the Ohioans who answered the call to defend the union, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, never to return home.
"Let us not forget all those Buckeyes who have served in all our nation's wars since our (the state's) birth in 1803, and let us remember those brave men and women who stand ready today around the globe," Davis said. He spoke during the commissioners' meeting in the absence of Commissioner Tim Price, who heads the board of commissioners.
The 15-star flag was raised Monday in Steubenville, and Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas E. Graham conducted the ceremony.
In Harrison County, the 15-star flag was raised, and officials there plan to raise it again at significant times in the future, as outlined by the State of Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. A spokesperson in the county commissioners' office said the bicentennial also will be given special recognition Wednesday during the commissioners' meeting, because material related to it was received too late to plan a ceremony for Monday.
Harrison is the only area county to take a name from that long-ago war. It was named for William Henry Harrison, hero of the Battle of the Thames.
Many names and events are associated with that war such as Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie, the burning of the White House, and Francis Scott Key and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Also important are Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans where, as the song goes, "We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin."
Some contend that battle, which occurred after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed in Europe, was the most decisive battle of the war, and it is among the nation's fond memories.