First American Flag

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First American Flag

Post by Miles1 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:49 am

The First American Flag Was Very British Looking



We are all familiar with the 50 stars and 13 stripes which, together, comprise the flag of the United States of America. The United States adopted that flag, originally with 13 stars, on June 14, 1777. But what did the fledgling nation — and its band revolutionaries — use beforehand?

The first American flag was actually the Grand Union, pictured above. Thirteen stripes, yes, but instead of stars, a smaller version of the British flag, the Union Flag. (If it looks different than the British flag you’re familiar with, check out today’s bonus fact!) The historic underpinnings of this flag remain fuzzy and may sadly be lost to antiquity. We do know two things: One, no one disputes that this British-looking flag was America’s first, used at various times during the American Revolution. Second, the flag was first adorned by the Continental Navy warship, the U.S.S. Alfred, in December of 1775, as its official emblem, signifying its allegiance to the American colonies.

Other “facts” about the history of the Grand Union are still debated. Most historians believe that on New Year’s Day, 1776, George Washington flew the Grand Union at Prospect Hill, in Somerville, Massachusetts, while forming the Continental Army. A likely apocryphal story states that the Second Continental Congress — the body which adopted the Declaration of Independence — adopted the Grand Union as the official emblem of the war efforts; however, the well-maintained records of the Continental Congress are silent to anything flag related before 1777. Finally, some believe the Grand Union was used to demonstrate to Britain that it remained loyal to the King, in spite of their differences, but that theory is conjecture without specific evidence.

Regardless, if you see this flag flying, rest assured it is a real American flag.

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Re: First American Flag

Post by Dennis324 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:14 am

Yeah, thats an interesting part of our history. Its my understanding tht many of England's colonies flew a flag with a Union Jack in its canton. Australia & New Zealand continue to do so.

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