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The old flag. [volume] : (Philippi, W. Va.) 1861-18??
Place of publication:
Philippi, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Philippi, Barbour, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
H.A. Zeigler
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1861?
  • English
  • Philippi (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Philippi.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226794
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 26 (Apr. 7, 1869).
  • Vol. numbering indicates a new beginning in 1868.
sn 85059519
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The old flag. [volume] April 7, 1869 , Image 1


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The Old Flag

Headquartered in Philippi, West Virginia, the Old Flag circulated among the citizens of the north-central counties of the young state beginning in 1868. The few extant copies reveal a newspaper Republican in politics and patriotic for the Union in the wake of the recent Civil War. The Old Flag kept its readers abreast of national news and cast a positive light on the efforts of Republicans to incorporate the 15th Amendment-"a glorious example before the world of our love of liberty" - into the Constitution. Of course, local news also occupied much of the paper's pages. The Old Flag's announcements of marriages, its publication of court directories and mail routes, and its slew of advertisements for nearby businesses reveal a newspaper deeply couched within the community. As was common of the time, the Old Flag also offered readers poetry, short stories, and other literary pieces meant to both entertain and enlighten.

The newspaper's Republicanism and patriotism reflected the passions of its 32-year-old editor Henry A.G. Ziegler, who had served in both the Union army and navy during the Civil War. An aspiring Republican politician, Ziegler managed to publish the Old Flag while simultaneously running for the statewide Superintendence of Schools in 1869. The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer lauded Ziegler as "a man of remarkable merit and promise," with "literary tastes of a high order, and his energy and devotion to business surpassed by but few." As a veteran, Ziegler received the support of various state legislators, who reminded citizens to "not forget the soldiers." His editorship of the Old Flag also earned him political praise, and state legislators thought the newspaper "one of the best periodicals in the state." When the ballots for school superintendent were cast in February of 1869, Ziegler won the election handily.

Unfortunately, Henry Ziegler struggled with sickness throughout much of his first year in office, and on February 17, 1870, the young editor and politician passed away. Ziegler's illness and eventual death likely marked the end of the Old Flag as well. The last extant copy of the paper is dated December 2, 1869.

Provided by: West Virginia University