With July 4th almost here, I think about what our flag means to me as a symbol of freedom and the joining of the many diverse regions of our country into a single entity that is so much stronger than our individual parts.
I also think about how that flag and our very own Buffalo Bill Cody were instrumental in solidifying our relationship with England.
Many people know that Buffalo Bill was the most famous person in the world at one time. His Wild West Show was incredibly popular as it toured the U.S. and later went international. In 1887, Bill took his show to Europe where it was a smash success seen by more than one million people.
Among those attending the show was the very proper Queen Victoria. Many of the English people were more than a little surprised that the queen chose to attend the show, and this step only served to increase interest. What happened at the show is even better.
At the beginning of each show, Buffalo Bill entered with the American flag. On this day he rode into the arena and over to the queen to present himself and the flag. Queen Victoria stood and bowed to our flag and to Bill.
We here in town believe that this gesture alone began to thaw some frosty relations between the U.S. and England that had been lingering for decades, especially since the War of 1812. Today, we know no greater ally than England.
Queen Victoria and Buffalo Bill Cody developed mutual respect and a friendship. The queen even shipped the beautiful cherry wood bar that continues to grace the dining room of the Irma Hotel. I think of this story every time I see that bar.
I hope your Independence Day is filled with laughter, the company of good friends, family and relaxation. Mine will include all of that. Plus a toast to Queen Victoria.
Loving the independent life in Buffalo Bill’s Cody Country…