Why is the flag of Texas flying proudly above the Great House at Chawton today? Once we explain, we hope you will want us to fly your colours too!
Dr Janine Barchas, board member of our North American Friends of Chawton House Library (NAFCHL), and Dr Kristina Straub, organised a fundraising event in June this year for Chawton House Library. As the Curators of the much-lauded exhibition ‘Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity’ held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in 2016, they decided to call their event ‘Jane & Will for CHL’. It was held as part of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) North Texas meeting to kick off the ‘Oxygen Funds’ campaign (the North American arm of our ‘Reimagining Jane Austen’s Great House’ campaign). Getting the much-needed CHL Oxygen funds off to a great start, the Texans generously donated more than 17K at that event.
Part of what captured guests’ enthusiasm was the ‘flag-flying challenge’ where each JASNA region can raise funds to fly their state flag over Jane Austen’s ‘Great House’. For every $10,000 donated to Chawton House Library, we offered to fly a flag representing the donor over the house for a day. This motivated the generous Texas audience, who naturally wished to see the flag of the Lone Star State proudly flutter in the wind!
Well, keeping true to our promise, we are now gratefully flying the Texas Lone Star flag over this very special house. We hope all of our Texan-based supporters are happy and proud to see it here!
If you are a JASNA member who would like to see your state flag flying over Jane’s ‘Great House’, why not talk to your region about a fundraising event at your next meeting? With big thanks to all of our supporters in North America. Watch this space for more flag flying in the future!