FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — The legend of Barbara Fritchie has its detractors, but there’s no denying her marketing muscle.
A Frederick museum exhibit opening Friday documents the selling of the city’s best-known Civil War figure.
The Museum of Frederick County History says Fritchie’s name has been applied to everything from women’s hosiery to motorcycle races. Nearly 150 years after the publication of John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, the Barbara Fritchie restaurant remains a popular eatery in the City of Clustered Spires.
Historians say there’s no doubt that Fritchie existed. But there’s no proof she defied Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s
order to remove a Union flag from her window by shouting, “Shoot if you must this old gray head but spare my country’s flag.”
Her patriotism supposedly persuaded Jackson to spare her life.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)