Orren Randolph Smith, Fletcher
The memorial is one of a series of large granite mountain boulders, all about the same size but
of different shapes that comprise the “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South.” Each marker contains a bronze plaque with date of birth and death and a statement about the person’s significance to southern culture or in some cases their relationship to Calvary Episcopal Church.
Part of the Inscription in the center of the plaque has been removed for unknown reasons. Per news reports of the time, the missing inscription reads, “First unfurled on courthouse square, Louisburg, N.C., March 18, 1861, and carried through the battles of the War Between the States, 1861-1865.”
Images: Rear view | View of memorials at "Westminster Abbey of the South"
Front: IN LOVING MEMORY / ORREN RANDOLPH SMITH / WHO FEBRUARY 12, 1861, DESIGNED,
/ “THE STARS AND BARS” / THE FIRST OFFICIAL FLAG / OF THE CONFEDERACY / ADOPTED BY /
THE CONFEDERATE STATES CONGRESS / MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, MARCH 4, 1861,
WARREN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA / DECEMBER 18, 1827 / HENDERSON, NORTH CAROLINA / MARCH 13, 1913 / HE SPENT MUCH OF HIS LIFE / IN HENDERSON, NORTH CAROLINA, / WHERE HIS BODY IS INTERRED
TO CONFEDERATE COMRADES / “PEACE TO THEIR ASHES, / HONOR TO THEIR MEMORY, / GLORY TO THEIR CAUSE.” / ORREN RANDOLPH SMITH
Rear: ERECTED 1930 / BY THE / NORTH CAROLINA / DIVISION / UNITED DAUGHTERS / OF THE / CONFEDERACY
Calvary Episcopal Church
November 16, 1930
35.442600 , -82.503600 View in Geobrowse
"Westminster Abbey of South," Spartanburg Herald Journal (Spartanburg, SC) September 24, 1939, Link
Hicklin, J.B. “Elaborate Abbey to Immortalize South’s Leaders,” Forest City Courier (Forest City, NC), September 24, 1931, (accessed May 27, 2016) Link
Jenkins, Mark. “Historical Sketch of Calvary Episcopal Church,” (Calvary Parish, Fletcher, 1959) Link
York, Maury. 1994. "Smith, Orren Randolph," NCpedia.org, (accessed November 12, 2013) Link
“Another Memorial Dedicated at Fletcher,” Burlington Daily Times (Burlington, NC), November 18, 1930
“Calvary Church, Fletcher, N.C. Between Asheville and Hendersonville,” in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (PO77), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division
1,000 people were in attendance with a crowd swelled by the opening of the general convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy scheduled to begin the next day in Asheville. Clyde R. Hoey (later governor) was the principal speaker with Mrs. E.L. McKee, North Carolina U.D.C. president and Mrs. L.M. Bashinsky, Troy, Alabama, national U.D.C. president also making speeches. Miss Jessica Randolph Smith, a daughter of the flags designer, presented a copy of the original flag to Calvary Episcopal rector Rev. Clarence Stuart McClellan.
Orren Randolph Smith is remembered for claiming to have designed the Stars and Bars, the first official flag of the Confederate States of America. Modern scholars think it is more likely that Nicola Marschall, an artist on the faculty of Marion Female Seminary in Marion, Ala., submitted the favored design. Another memorial to Smith and First Confederate Monument can be found in front of the courthouse in Louisburg in Franklin County, NC.
Calvary Episcopal Church is located at 2840 Hendersonville Road, at
its intersection with Old Airport Road in Fletcher, NC.
Eighteen “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South” markers stand in two rows in a lawn area facing Old Airport Road to the right of the church. The Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway is located near the street facing Hendersonville Road. One memorial to Bill Nye is in the church cemetery and the second memorial to Bill Nye is on the front lawn of the church. The Calvary Episcopal Church marker stands near the sanctuary.
This memorial is one of eighteen “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South” markers that stand in two rows in a lawn area to the right of the church.
This memorial and the seventeen others now standing along Old Airport Road were originally located in a landscaped plot along Hendersonville Road (Highway 25) directly in front of the cemetery. It is likely they had to be relocated when the road was widened to four lanes.