‘MTSU On the Record’ guest explores new encycloped...

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest explores new encyclopedia dedicated to Old Glory’s history

The “MTSU On the Record” radio program dug into the flag’s history, uses and controversies in advance of Flag Day with host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. John Vile, dean of the University Honors College.

Their conversation, which first aired June 5 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at, is available to hear above.

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

Vile, a widely published scholar and Constitutional law expert, is the primary author of the new book “The American Flag: An Encyclopedia of the Stars and Stripes in U.S. History, Culture and Law.”

His book is to be released in late October by publisher ABC-CLIO. The encyclopedia is the first and only dedicated solely to the American flag, according to the publisher and Vile, and provides a timeline, bibliography, index and essays on important flag-related topics.

Cover of Dr. John Vile’s 2018 book, “The American Flag: An Encyclopedia of the Stars and Stripes in U.S. History, Culture and Law”One tale Vile uncovered was the story of Massachusetts sea captain William Driver, who is buried in Nashville. Driver, who relocated to Tennessee in the 1830s, was proud of an American flag that flew on his ship during his many travels.

“When the Civil War came, he had to hide it,” Vile said, “so he had it sewn within a quilt. The house was apparently searched a time or two, and it was never discovered. When the Union armies came back into Nashville, he gave them the flag to fly over the state Capitol.”

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web Other MTSU contributions to the encyclopedia include entries on the Confederate flag by Dr. Derek Frisby, a lecturer in the Department of Global Studies and Human Geography; the flag’s use in American music by Dr. Greg Reish, director of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music; and the flag in American journalism by Dr. Larry Burriss of MTSU’s School of Journalism.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.