Saved: window that was model for US flag
The window at Selby Abbey was donated by the English ancestors of George Washington, the first president of the United States. It shows the coat of arms of his forebears, the de Wessyngtons, which depicts three spiked spur wheels above two red bars across a white shield. Washington is known to have used the heraldic device on two of his personal seals and a bookplate.
Officials at the abbey used the link with America to raise funds across the Atlantic as part of a long-running campaign to raise pounds 6 million for restoration work.
Three donors, including a charitable trust and British American Tobacco, agreed to donate pounds 100,000 for specialist cleaning and re-leading of the medieval glass.
Brig Jeremy Gaskell, the director of the appeal, said: "We are really pleased to have got the Washington Window project fully funded by American donors. Visitor numbers have doubled since we started the appeal almost six years ago.''
Wessyngton, which had various spellings until it evolved into Washington, comes from the Anglo Saxon Hwaes, a Saxon chief's name, inga, meaning "family of'', and tun, an estate.
Historians believe the coat of arms was probably included in the window to commemorate John Wessington, a medieval Prior of Durham.
He also decorated the battlements of the tower with a frieze of washing tubs or tuns, a rebus - or visual pun - on his name.
The Stars and Stripes, with 13 stars arranged in a circle and 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies, became the official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.
comments powered by Disqus
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis
- A history professor explains why Americans are so prone to conspiracy theories