Boer War Page 4a3
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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
A fabulous and huge patriotic banner that has few parallels anywhere.

Did this banner fly on 5th Avenue the day General Black Jack Pershing and his boys were cheered by over a million patriots?

They had spent a little over a year in combat on the Western Front and had lost some 53,000 men in the fighting. Ever since, they like to say, they won the war!

By comparison, France, whose fighting men are endlessly and derisively mocked by xenophobic US comics, and TV pundits, as losers, had fought for four terrible and bloody years, three full years before the Americans stood up to be counted.

France's total military and civilian losses were 1,416,000 dead. A million and a half Frenchmen made the ultimate sacrifice to "Make the World Safe for Democracy."

Only the most repugnant ignoramus would dare to laugh at such a monumental and selfless sacrifice to one's country, a scale of patriotism which has no parallel in US history.

Not even close...

If a soldier's highest sacrifice is laying down his life for his fellow man, then, certainly, the French soldier has no superior in the world.

And where are his equals?

Certainly not in America.

Not by a long shot...

Welcome Buddy Banner, World War I, 1919
Orig. fringed cotton banner - Size - 86 cm x 100 cm
Found - Halifax, NS

Welcome Buddy was an affectionate term used to greet American doughboys as they paraded in triumph down the streets of New York on their return from the blood-letting in France in February, 1919.

Unlike so many display banners, made out of flimsy material, this one is made of thicker cotton, fringed with a high quality sewn row of thick cords on one end, and on the other, a tough canvas edging stamped with metal grommets for a rope.

Patriotic Banner - 1919

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
A fabulous buggy blanket used in horse drawn carriages, in the spring and fall, and in cutters (sleighs) in winter.

What tales it overheard, of Dewey and Manila, of the Boer War, and later, of the Great War in Europe, as this thick blanket covered couples who were on the way to a dance, or a jaunt to the neighbours, returning late Saturday night, and sometimes, overhearing conversations meant to be private.

But Dewey, was known to be proper and circumspect and reputedly never blinked regardless how racy the conversation or passionate the discourse. An officer and a gentleman...

Buggy Blanket, Admiral George Dewey, Spanish-American War, 1898
Orig. thick blanket - Size - 1.25 m x 1.45 m
Found - Jensen Beach. FL
Was this for show or what? Definitely not! The blanket is not single ply but has a cover and a robust backing separated by some kind of padding to give it bulk and extra insulating quality. And it also has a couple of strong wear marks on the fabric side. This piece did not witness history from the wall; it participated in it.

Admiral Dewey Buggy Blanket - 1898

Victorian Edwardian US War Tapestries - 1900 - Tapes 3

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Spanish-American War Tapestries - 1898

Spanish-American War Tapestry 1898: In 1898, the Spanish-American War produced a marvellous tapestry (65 x 65") to celebrate the exploits of Admiral George Dewey and the American Navy when the Americans went to war for a few months against the Spanish Empire.

It was a war that started because the US Battleship Maine (below), which was anchored for the night in the Spanish colonial city of Havana, in Cuba, exploded mysteriously killing hundreds of American sailors. A Spanish torpedo was blamed by the American press.

Admiral Dewey exacted a terrible revenge on April 31, 1898, when he sank most of the Spanish fleet outside Manila in the Philippines. He is given pride of place in this tapestry, surrounded by a ring of exploding "Maines," while all around a few American sailors are swimming for their lives, just before the vessel sank to the bottom. In a few months Teddy planted the US flag in Cuba for keeps.
Printed textiles were also made, this one about 36 x 36." Small table coverlets or antimacassars about 18" square were popular because they were more affordable and easier to display than the larger wall pieces.
Below is a doily for placing under a bust or a plate. It is 9.5" square, made of cotton and features again, Admiral Dewey, the man who avenged the Maine.


This wonderful tapestry is a huge 46" x 49," and is woven in wool in muted shades of brown. It dates from 1898, and features a central medallion of Theodore Roosevelt, surrounded by a ring of "Rough Riders" chasing a wild bull with a pack of dogs. Was this symbolism of Americans chasing down signs of Spanish "bull fighting" culture in Cuba?
The Spanish American War - 1898

The US Battleship Maine blows up in Havana harbour, in the Spanish colony of Cuba, killing hundreds of US sailors.

The American press barons demand war, and deliver the US population - at least those that can read - to the government.

Spain declares war Apr. 24, 1898.

Admiral Dewey destroys the anchored Spanish Fleet in Manila Bay in the Spanish colony of the Philippines, on May 1.

A US force of regular and volunteer troops lands east of Santiago, Cuba - another Spanish colony - and advances intending to force the Spanish Caribbean fleet out to sea.

As the Americans - including Teddy Roosevelts' Rough Riders - advance, the Spanish fleet makes a run for it on July 3.

Big mistake. Outside is the American Atlantic Fleet under Commodore Schley. The Spanish fleet is sunk or beached. 1,800 Spanish sailors die - only 1 American.

Peace follows.

Spanish-American War Buggy Blanket - 1898

Stroock Carriage Blankets:

Stroock blankets were popular, to tuck around the waist when the air was chilly in buggies and early motor cars. They were made of mohair and horsehair and were very heavy. This 51 x 61" thickly plush Stroock of 1898, was richly embroidered with a stirring battle scene of the American guns charging during a battle across the palm festooned countryside of the Spanish Empire. The red star-like explosions of bursting shells are all around the gunners as they roar to the front - or the rear ....

When, a year later, the Boer War broke out, the British tapestry manufacturers already had American models to copy to satisfy the thirst of those British patriots eager to demonstrate their loyalty to their fighting men at the front.


c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000