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Sons of the American Revolution awards flag certificate

Courtesy Photo
Captain Brown, from left, Jerry Ford, Flag Certificate Chairman and Dottie Brown.

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

Earlier this month the New River Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution awarded its 2018 Flag Certificate to Captain Jeffery L. Brown and his wife Dottie of Blacksburg. Every year the Sons of the American Revolution (S.A.R.) awards their Flag Certificate to an individual or company that properly presents and cares for the American flag. According to tradition, the American flag should be taken down in inclement weather, unless it is an all-weather flag and at nightfall, unless it is lit.

Jerry Ford, a member of the S.A.R., lives next to Captain Brown and was pleased to see that he lit his flag at night and that he took good care of it. This led to Captain Brown, who is not a member of the S.A.R., being given the Flag Certificate. It is not necessary to be a member of the S.A.R. to receive the certificate.

Many people have heard of the Daughters of the American Revolution but less is known about the Sons of the American Revolution. According to Terry Blevins, the president of the New River Valley Chapter of the Sons of the Revolution, the S.A.R. is actually older than the much larger D.A.R. The S.A.R. formed in 1889 on the 100th anniversary of George Washington taking the oath of office and was chartered by an act of congress in 1906. President Theodore Roosevelt, a member of the Empire State Society, a New York based group similar in purpose to the S.A.R., signed the act into law the same year.

Even so, the older Sons of the Revolution has only 36,000 members nationwide, whereas, the higher profile D.A.R. has over 180,000 members.

Originally from Wise County, Terry Blevins, President of the NRV S.A.R., currently lives in Floyd County. The New River Valley Chapter of the S.A.R. covers Pulaski, Giles, Floyd and Montgomery counties and currently has 17 members. According to Blevins, the group doubled membership last year and is looking to do the same this year but entry is not available to just anyone.

“It’s a lineage society, just like the D.A.R,” said Blevins. “You have to prove your lineage back to your patriot. You have to have a paper trail.”

Why be a member of the Sons of the American Revolution?

“It’s interesting to learn your history and connect back to patriots who gave a lot to establish this country,” Blevins explained. “It also gives me the opportunity to present some educational work. I made a presentation to a genealogical group in Blacksburg Friday about our group.”

He even drops in on the D.A.R. at times, “Just to say howdy.”

There may be more interaction between the two groups in the future. If so, there’s plenty of Daughters of the American Revolution to become acquainted with. According to Blevins, the D.A.R. in Blacksburg alone has over 100 members.

Those interested in joining the NRV Sons of the American Revolution can contact Terry Blevins at blev51@att.net.

“We have three goals in our society,” Blevins declared. “That’s patriotism, history and education.”

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