Cool flag, Isa­iah

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

In the cat­e­gory of “You learn some­thing new ev­ery day,” Rep. Dan Bur­ton of In­di­ana ed­u­cates us to­day on “an of­ten over­looked chap­ter in Amer­i­can his­tory.”

It sur­rounds the tiny is­land of St. Eus­tatius, or “Sta­tia,” part of the Lee­ward Is­lands of the Caribbean. Dur­ing Novem­ber way back in 1776, the USS Andrew Do­ria, un­der the com­mand of Cap­tain Isa­iah Robin­son and in need of sup­plies and mu­ni­tions, sailed into the har­bor of Sta­tia, then a Dutch colony. The brig­an­tine fired off a 13-gun salute, and those man­ning Sta­tia’s can­nons, un­der the com­mand of Gov. Jo­hannes de Graaff, an­swered with an 11-gun vol­ley.

“This vol­ley is re­garded as the first salute to an Amer­i­can flag on board an Amer­i­can war­ship in a for­eign port. Or, more sim­ply put, the first recog­ni­tion of Amer­ica’s newly de­clared in­de­pen­dence from Great Bri­tain by a for­eign power,” notes Mr. Bur­ton, the rank­ing Repub­li­can on the sub­com­mit­tee on the West­ern Hemi­sphere.

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