Wickham Stone Park Logo

Bird and Flagpole

Description

"Eagle, goose, or turkey, Wickham’s representation of a bird once flew high atop the flagpole that stood near his log cabin. The bird has few distinguishing characteristics other than a long neck and oblong body. One argument for its identification as a turkey might be Wickham’s sympathy for Benjamin Franklin’s submission of the American Turkey as the national bird. Wickham would have been familiar with the wild turkeys that populated the hills near his home. However, sightings of the American Bald Eagle, which is more often seen on flagpoles, have occurred in Tennessee, and the Canada Goose, a migrating bird, flocks through Tennessee skies every spring and fall.

The base of the flagpole was encased in concrete by Wickham and inscribed with the following message: They Say I Would Forsake the Flag Of My Native Land But Woe Unto the Foe Or Stranger Whose Sacrilegious Hands Would Touch Thee Or Endanger Flag of My Native Land. Wickham’s patriotism is undeniable. Removed from the pole by 1974, the bird later found a home on the nearby property of Wickham’s daughter, Mary Wickham Evans."- quoted text is from the 2001 Customs House Museum Online Wickham Exhibit

The quote on the base of the flagpole is from the following poem by Father Charles Constantine Pise(1801-1866).

The American Flag

They say I do not love thee, Flag of my native land, Whose meteor folds above me To the free breeze expand: Thy broad stripes proudly streaming And thy stars so brightly gleaming.

They say I would forsake thee Should some dark crisis lower; That recreant I should make thee Crouch to a foreign power: Seduced by license ample On thee, blest flag to trample.

They say that bolts of thunder, Cast in the forge of Rome, May rise and bring thee under Flag of my native home; And with one blow dissever My heart from thee forever.

False are the words they utter, Ungenerous their brand, And rash the oaths they mutter, Flag of my native land. While still in hope above me Thou wavest and I love thee.

God is my love's first duty, To whose Eternal Name Be praise for all thy beauty, Thy grandeur and thy fame ; But ever have I reckoned Thine, native flag, my second.

Woe to the foe or stranger Whose sacrilegious hand Would touch thee or endanger Flag of my native land! The some would fain discard thee, Mine should be raised to guard thee.

Then wave thou first of banners, And in thy gentle shade Let creeds, opinions, manners In liberty be laid I And there all discord ended Our hearts and souls be blended.

Stream on, stream on before us Thou Labarum of Light, While in one general chorus Our vows to thee we plight Unfaithful to thee ? Never! My country's Flag forever!

Picture Gallery
(Click on image for larger view)

Bird on Flagpole Bird on flagpole bird on flagpole 1 flag and verse
Bird sitting atop flagpole Bird atop post Bird atop post closeup Verse on base of flagpole

Inscriptions
(Base)

THEY SAY I WOULD FORSAKE THE FLAG OF MY NATIVE LAND,
BUT WOE UNTO THE FOE OR STRANGER WHOSE SACRILEGIOUS HAND WOULD TOUCH THEE OR ENDANGER FLAG OF MY NATIVE LAND

This inscription is also found on the base of the flagpole in the Wickham Cemetery near the angel statue.

Get a souvenir of this statue at the new online Wickham Stone Park Gift Shop

Boone Oxen Hudson Davis Kennedy Peay Totem Doctor York WW2 Jackson

free webpage hit counter