slight shades of difference
religion, manners, habits
For George Washington’s Birthday, this was taken from General Washington’s 32 page farewell address to the nation written in 1796.
Famous for his warning against Foreign entanglements saying, “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake,” the General was also aware of the problems of party and states and government by party and by states.
The General said this:
“Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.”
Citizens, by birth or choice,
of a common country,
that country has a right to concentrate your affections.
The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism.
I recently ran across an essay that took the form of an email from a grand father to a grand son trying to explain the what this country was in danger of losing.
Have to point this essay appeared in the New Yorker on April 6, 2020 (Love Letter by George Sanders)
“… disrupt something so noble, so time tested and seemingly strong that had been with us literally everyday of our lives. We had taken a profound gift for granted. We did not know the gift was a fluke, a chimera, a wonderful accident of consensus and mutual understanding.”
The General understood this.
He even warned us saying:
“Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
… you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity;
watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety;
discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned;
and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.”
Happy Birthday General.
We miss you very much and wish you all the best.
As a postscript and a new citizen of the State of South Carolina I have to point out this little factoid.
The image I used today is from a portrait of
The image I used today is from a portrait of George Washington as Colonel in the Virginia Regiment, Charles Willson Peale, in 1772.
Notice around his neck is a small metal ‘gorget’ that was worn by officers of the era as a symbol of military rank.
The shape of the gorget was adapted as the insignia or badge of the 1st and 2nd South Carolina Regiments that were formed to protect Charleston from a certain British invasion in 1775.
These two regiments manned Fort Sullivan in Charleston Harbor that held off an attack of Royal Navy, June 28, 1776.
Fort Sullivan was constructed of palmetto trees.
The gorget and the palmetto tree are the symbols on the flag of State of South Carolina.
Sometime after the flag was designed a state functionary changed it a bit by tilting the gorget which makes folks think it is a crescent moon.
It is not the moon but the gorget badge of the 1st and 2nd South Carolina Regiments.
Just thought I would pass that along.