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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

British Greased Their Pole Before Withdrawing

Tuesday was Evacuation Day in New York City—the 225th anniversary of the day the British left the city.

Departing British troops nailed their flag to a pole downtown and greased it. Every November, a descendant would re-enact the legendary feat of John Van Arsdale, a sailor, who donned cleats and shimmied up the flagpole to replace the British colors with the Stars and Stripes. [Link]
Upon further investigation, I was disappointed to learn that descendants were asked to hoist the American flag each year, not to shimmy up a greased flagpole.

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