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Friday, September 2, 2011

FLAG CITIES OF THE USA (revised post)

Some couple of months back my friend Mr.Tony Lion, a senior citizen from Cleveland, Ohio sent me an old envelope with a clear Flag Pond, TN postmark on it, which his late father-in-law sent to his wife some years ago on October 25,1979. Here is the envelope;

Tony also sent me some suggestions on "How Flag Pond of  got its name" posted in the Flag Pond, Tennessee site.
Ray Knapp:
Up until roads were constructed and the creeks re-channeled (beginning in the mid 1800s) Upper Higgins Creek, Sams Creek and Rice Creek converged at a point about 100 yards south of Flag Pond’s post office creating a large swampy area with wild flag flowers growing in and around it. It became a meeting place for the people living in this general area. They would trail in to the flag pond from miles around to share news, a little moonshine and on occasion listen to an old time preacher give a sermon to their ready-made audience. A name for any town isn’t official until sanctioned by the government, this is generally done by establishing a post office. Flag Pond’s first post office was established in 1846. This was the first post office in the county, which in turn makes Flag Pond the oldest official town in the county.
The establishment of the Flag Pond post office is public record. The location of the pond and other information is a consensus from several 'old timers' that relayed stories passed down to them by their fathers and grandfathers.

Sharla Smith-Hardin;
My mother was a Rice. She told me that the way Flag Pond came to be named, was because a soldier (during the civil war, I believe) planted a flag (I'm not sure what kind of a flag, whether American, Union or Confederate) in a pond (which is no longer there) to let others who were following, know that was the area he had scouted. But that's the way the community came to be named Flag Pond.


The Scuttle Butt or rumor that I have been told was the Name Flag Pond came from a young lady and her nickname was Stefanne. She was walking the edge of a pond and saw the flag flower Iris (Scientific Name: Iris pseudacorus) growing on the edge of a pond and that how the Name Flag Pond,TN was created ....... from the flower Flag at the edge of the pond.

  My friend Tony recently shared with a bad news regarding the Flag Pond, TN post-office. Due to financial difficulties that the U. S. Postal Service is experiencing, the Flag Pond post office, along with another 3700 post offices across the country, are under review for closure.
Flag Pond,Virginia, postmark dated April 18, 1894, 2c Columbian Envelope.
This Flag Pond is located in Northumberland county in Virginia. Presently, the nearest Post Office is located at Sanford Post Office (1.8 km).
 'Flagstaff' is another interesting city in Arizona State named after Flag.
A very rare 'Special Delivery- Air Mail' on a First Day Coverage' cover posted from Flagstaff, Arizona on May 28,1937.

Flagstaff old town, 1882

 Flagstaff (called "Flag" by the locals) is a city located in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. It is the county seat of Coconino County. The city is named after a Ponderosa Pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston(known as the "Second Boston Party") to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876. The pine was so substantial that people could see it from miles away. Flagstaff became a symbol, a landmark and, ultimately, a name.
How Flagstaff obtained its name has several versions, all having to do with stripping a lone pine tree and making it into a flagpole. The spring and its small settlement underwent several names beginning with Antelope Spring, then Flagstaff, and then Old Town. By the time the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (now the Santa Fe) came through in 1882 there were ten buildings in Old Town, but they soon moved closer to the new railroad depot. In no time at all, Old Town was almost deserted and when a post office was established near the new train depot, it assumed the name of Flagstaff. 

American Flag Post Office, Oracle, Arizona (1880-1890)
“American Flag” is a ghost town in Pinal County, Arizona five miles southeast of Oracle. The town was established in the late 1870 but shortly after 1890, the town had become abandoned. Stories go  that Oracle would have been named American Flag if only some government officials had not rejected a two-word name. But the Post Office embraced the two-word name “American Flag”, and that American Flag Post Office began its operation in 1880 but closed down in 1890 because its population dwindled while the community of Oracle grew. The post office was moved to the American Flag Ranch headquarters in 1880. The building still stands, and is the oldest surviving territorial Post Office building in Arizona. The building is now is preserved by the 'Oracle Historical Society'. I have not come across with any example of 'American Flag, AZ' postmark.

The duplex postmark of August 29, 1952, from Bend, Oregon mentions "U. S. TREASURY DEFENSE BOND FLAG CITY".

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