US President George Washington Hearts England

By Michael Janis, Washington Glass School

Sunderland, England has had a long association with Washington, DC. General George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789 and the United States Capitol City named ‘Washington” in his honor. George Washington was a descendant of the Washington family, which took its name from Wessyngton (now Washington) and resided at Washington Old Hall in Washington Village.

george.hearts.us.uk

Washington Old Hall incorporates parts of the original medieval home of George Washington’s direct ancestors. It was re-opened in 1955 by the US Ambassador, following restoration of the property which which was led by local schoolmaster and historian Frederick Hill. United States benefactors played a key role, donating funds and furniture to the project. Washington Old Hall is now managed by the National Trust with assistance from the Friends of Washington Old Hall.

The District of Columbia’s official “state” flag (adopted in 1938), is based on the shield from the Washington Coat of Arms. Early examples of the Washington Coat of Arms, dating back to the beginning of the 15th Century, can be seen on the cloister ceiling in Durham Cathedral.
US federal district (Washington, DC) flag consisting of a white field with two horizontal red stripes and three red stars above the stripes. The flag’s width-to-length ratio is 1 to 2.

US federal district (Washington, DC) flag consisting of a white field with two horizontal red stripes and three red stars above the stripes. The flag’s width-to-length ratio is 1 to 2.

It has often been said George Washington used his family coat of arms as the basis for the original American ‘Stars and Stripes’ flag.
Image from Library of Congress 'An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera.'

Image from Library of Congress ‘An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera.’

As a result of these historic ties, Washington, D.C., and City of Sunderland had formed a “friendship agreement,” (originally in 2006 and renewed in 2012) with the intent of  creating cultural and economic ties with one another. Sunderland City is the only non-capital in the world to have such an agreement with the US Capitol. Working with the DC Sister Cities, the DCCAH and Artomatic, the two cities are collaborating in presenting an international glass and clay artwork exhibit opening March 1, 2013.

 

 

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