r. Wayne A. Huss, history department chairman at the College, helped to launch a “Civil War Summer” at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. Donning a corporal frock coat and Union-style cap, he presided over a new exhibit titled “Rally ‘Round the Flag: Civil War Color Bearers and the Flags They Carried”.
Dr. Wayne Huss, history professor, proudly stands at the podium during a presentation at the Betsy Ross House in May. (Above) War-torn American flags from the Civil War highlight the display.
Huss served as a curator to historical artifacts that included a hand-sewn 34-star silk flag originally weaved by Betsy Ross’s daughter Clarissa. His devotion to the display produced an extremely rare collection that will be available to see for the next year. The theme surrounds five distinct color bearers who tell their own unique story of a “perilous fight”. Among the “quintet” is a female member from a Rhode Island unit, a member of the famous Irish Brigade, an escaped slave
turned flag-bearer, a Confederate soldier and a volunteer from Pennsylvania. While performing their challenging duties three were wounded—one mortally—and another had his flag twice shot out of his hands without being hit himself. Huss spoke to members of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., including the President and CEO Amy Needle, a representative from Mayor Nutter’s office and a crowd of nearly fifty people. He stressed the importance of a flag in battle and how it helped to keep order and band troops together. Great responsibility came with the color bearer, as it was a symbol of an army’s psyche. Gaining the opposition’s flag was considered the highest achievement. To view the exhibit you can take a trip to the Betsy Ross House. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, April through October. ❂