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Guide He Kept The Colors:The true story of The General, the Old Man and the Flag

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The blue background is believed to represent the blue shirts worn by many of the diggers, rather than represent the sky as is commonly thought. The torn and tattered remains of this flag is kept at the Ballarat Fine Art Museum. The "Eureka Stockade" uprising was essentially a short-lived revolt by gold miners against petty officialdom and harassment by a corrupt Police force, who would often ask miners to show their gold digging licences several times a day.

The miners also objected to the high cost of the licences. Led by Peter Lalor, who later became a respected Victorian MP and Minister, the Eureka uprising was a spectacular failure in a military sense. The revolt had its roots in the killing of a miner, James Scobie, by a publican. An inquest was held, but despite the evidence of miners, no conclusion was made about who was responsible.

It was founded to defend the interests of Massachusetts from British forces. The navy used 25 vessels over the course of the war, acting in various roles such as prison ships, dispatch vessels, and combat cruisers.

U.S. flag raised on Iwo Jima - HISTORY

Unlike most other states, the Massachusetts State Navy was never officially disbanded and simply became part of the United States Navy. In , Colonel Christopher Gadsden was in Philadelphia representing his home colony of South Carolina at the Continental Congress and presented this new naval flag to the Congress.


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It became the first flag used by the sea-going soldiers who eventually would become the United States Marines. This flag first saw combat under Commodore Hopkins, who was the first Commander-in-Chief of the new Continental Navy, when Washington's Cruisers put to sea for the first time in February of to raid the Bahamas and capture stored British cannon and shot. In the early days of the Revolution the New Yorkers adopted a white flag with a black beaver for the armed ships of New York. According to legend, the New Yorkers hauled down the British flag in and raised a plain white flag with a drawing of a black beaver centered on it to mark the occasion.

The symbol of the Beaver dated back to the early Dutch settlers of New Netherlands and was based on the long and important role the fur trade played in the development of New York. Although no documented illustration of the original Beaver Flag has been yet discovered, modern interpretations exist.

The beaver is still the official state animal of New York State, and is still seen on the great seal of the City of New York. According to legend, one day in General Washington approached Rebecca Flower Young, a Philadelphia pennant and colors maker, and asked her to make a flag for use by the troops. The flag he designed became known as the Grand Union Flag. Years later, Rebecca assisted her daughter in making an even more famous flag for our country, the "Star Spangled Banner" used at Ft. This flag was never officially sanctioned by the Continental Congress, but was in use from late until mid , probably because it was very simple to make.

All one had to do was sew six white strips over the red field of a British Red Ensign. According to legend, on January 1, , this flag was first raised at Cambridge, where George Washington took command of the Continental Army. He personally paid to equip the first soldiers under this flag.

Although this flag was known as the Continental Colors because it represented the entire nation, in one of Washington's letters he referred to it as the "Great Union Flag" and it is most commonly called the "Grand Old Union Flag" today. Click here to learn more. The Grand Union Flag was also the de facto first U. Interestingly enough, this was also the flag used by the British East India Company although usually with less than 13 stripes after the United States gained its independence.

A privateer is a privately-owned warship authorized by "letters of marque" from a recognized national government to attack foreign shipping. The 13 Colonies, having declared their Independence, had only 31 ships comprising the Continental Navy. To add to this, local state governments issued Letters of Marque to privately owned merchant ships which were then armed as warships to prey on British merchant ships. Robert Morris, the first American millionaire, became wealthy by privateering, and we know that George Washington owned part of at least one privateer ship.

Apparently the different ships in Commodore Hopkins' tiny Continental Navy were identified by using stripes other that red and white. These ships flew a wide assortment of ensigns and jacks loosely based on various existing Colonial Flags. Lexington in Another famous American naval vessel was the C.

Ever since that time there have been fighting ships named the U. Lexington and U. Hornet in the United States Navy, the latest being supercarriers. Although they had not officially declared their independence, a fight for control of the hills became necessary. When the British advanced up the slope the next day, according to legend they saw a red flag, but we have no real knowledge of which American Flag was actually flown in this battle. But John Trumbull, whose paintings of Revolutionary War scenes are quite famous, talked to eye-witnesses and his subsequent painting depicting the battle displayed the Continental flag as shown here.

Many historians think the flag more likely to have been at the battle, if any, was the more common First New England Naval Ensign. This so-called "Bunker Hill Flag" with a blue field was the result of an error made by a publisher a couple of hundred years ago. On a flag book this flag, representing New England, was correctly printed with heraldic hatching clearly indicating a red field, but it was hand-colored blue by mistake. This error has lived on to this very day.

I guess it is fitting that we have a incorrect flag for the Battle of Bunker Hill, after all, the battle is misnamed as well! I wasn't quite sure where to put this flag, but many times it is sold as a historical flag.

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The Flag of New England was originally created by K. Albert Ebinger in to promote the New England region. It has a blue background with the Saint George cross and pine tree in the canton similar to the fictitious Bunker Hill Flag, but has six stars in a circle on the fly. Moultrie during the battle. The flag was shot away by the British in the battle, but the British were in turn defeated which saved the south from British occupation for another two years. Another widespread modern version of this flag has the word "LIBERTY" outside the crescent moon on the blue field and is sometimes incorrectly sold as the historical flag.

This modern design has been adopted as the civic flag of the town of Liberty, South Carolina, with a few minor alterations of the thickness of the crescent and styling of the lettering. On June 14, , the Continental Congress passed a resolution adopting an official flag for the Colonial forces. Unfortunately, it contained no drawings or illustrations of what the flag should look like, just these words. This led to a wide interpretation by those sewing flags; although hundreds of flags were made, no two were exactly alike. Upholsterers in Colonial America not only worked on furniture, but did all manner of sewing work, which for some included making flags.

According to the legend, General Washington, Robert Morris, and John Ross showed her a rough design of the flag that included six-pointed stars. Betsy suggested a five-point star because it was easier to make, and demonstrated how to cut a five-pointed star in a single snip. Impressed, the three entrusted Betsy with making our first flag.

This is, of course, a legend started by her grandson years after the Revolution was won, and no proof exists that it ever happened or that the traditional design is of her making. The design also suggests that it might have been modeled after the Continental Colors of His book Flags of the World written by Frederick Edward Hulme in , was considered at the time to be very accurate, but modern vexillological researchers have questioned many of the flag designs illustrated in the book.

This particular flag is one such flag and many feel that it most likely didn't actually exist during Revolutionary times, but was a later invention. This flag has been widely called the "personal" flag of George Washington and reportedly made as a headquarters flag in According to this tradition he used this flag throughout the whole Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, there has been no proven connection that this flag ever belonged to, or was used by, General Washington. Today, a modern reproduction of this "Washington" flag still flies at his Valley Forge Headquarters, but there is no period documentation or proof to support it ever being an actual flag used during the Revolutionary War.

Simply put, the fact that it was discovered in Valley Forge in the midth Century does not prove that it was there in In fact, the flag lacks a hem on either the fly or bottom sides, which may indicate it was a canton from a larger Stars and Stripes, and it was not designed to fly on its own. It also has no fringe, nor any obvious header that would indicate that it was pole mounted or hoisted. In short, its association with Washington, the Valley Forge winter, the Revolutionary War, and everything else is just unproven speculation and it is very likely Washington never used this flag at all.

His reported design had the thirteen stars arranged in a "staggered" pattern. Although there is no original example or drawing remaining of this flag, we do have the bill he gave Congress for its design. Congressman Hopkins asked Congress for a quarter-cast of public wine for his work. There is no record of Congress ever paying him.

Betsy Ross and the American Flag

The flag shown here is the most commonly accepted version, with 6-pointed stars, not 5-pointed ones. Hopkinson may have illustrated a flag with the stars placed in rows of Some favor 5-pointed stars, or rows of , but since Hopkinson's design-sketch has not definitively survived, it is all just speculation.

Wilson's Brandywine Flag The Brandywine Flag An interesting bit of erroneous research done on this flag in resulted in it being mistakenly tied to the wrong Robert Wilson and to the 7th Pennsylvania Militia Regiment, although no actual connection between this flag and the Pennsylvania's regiment existed. Recent research by flag scholar John Hartvigsen indicates that this flag was actually the colors of the Chester County Militia, not the 7th Pennsylvania Militia Regiment. According to Hartvigsen's well-documented research, it was a "Robert Wilson" of Chester County, Pennsylvania, serving as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Chester County Militia, who was responsible for the militia' equipment, and for this flag's survival.

Several other members of the Wilson family also served with the Chester County Militia and were present at the Battle of Brandywine. Since both the traditional account and recent scholarly research assures us that this flag was indeed used at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, about three months after the Continental Congress resolution had defined the flag of the United States , no authority questions its status as a military flag used during the battle.

In fact, it was Richard Harrison, a direct descendant of Chester County's Robert Wilson, who gave the flag to Independence Hall in , where it is still housed today. According to tradition this flag flew over the military stores in Bennington, Vermont, on August 16, Colonel Stark was later promoted to general and after the war was given land in the Ohio River Valley.

It is Stark County today. When General Stark died he was the oldest last Revolutionary War general. She followed the accepted rules of heraldry and began and ended the stripes with white ones. Also according to the rules of heraldry, a star must have at least 6 points. Anything with five points or less was called a "spur. Unfortunately, some scholars now dispute this whole story claiming that the cotton material and thread used to make the flag dates it more closely to the War of It was used at the Battle of Plattsburg Lake Champlain in , a battle considered by many as the turning point of the War of Ethan Allen and his cousin Seth Warner came from a part of the New Hampshire land grant that eventual became the modern State of Vermont.

The captured cannon and mortars were then transported across the snow covered mountains of New England. This surprise installation of some of these on the heights over Boston Harbor enabled George Washington to force the British to leave that important harbor. This flag's green field made sense when you realized the Green Mountain Boys carried the flag in the forest.

Bright red and white stripes were not very practical there.

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As in many American flags, the stars here were arranged in an arbitrary fashion. Nevertheless, they signified the unity of the Thirteen Colonies in their struggle for independence. One final note, the records kept by Seth Warner are fairly complete and according to them his men had little in the way of equipment, so it is possible they never had any flag at all.

Some flag historians now believe this flag might have been the regimental colors of a completely different Revolutionary unit see the Headman Flag as listed in the mysterious "Gostellowe Return" , but nevertheless, despite these intriguing theories, legend still places the flag firmly in the hands of the Green Mountain Boys.

In , two forts were constructed on the Delaware river. So long as the Americans held both forts, the British army in Philadelphia could not communicate with the outside world or be resupplied. General Howe, the commanding British general in Philadelphia, sent Lord Cornwallis with 5, men to attack Fort Mercer, landing them by ferry three miles south of the fort. Rather than let the garrison be captured by the overwhelming British forces, Colonel Christopher Greene decided to abandon the fort on November 20, leaving the British to occupy it the following day.

The British then began an assault on the neighboring Fort Mifflin. This unusual 13 star flag that was flown at Fort Mercer for some unknown reason reversed the normal red and blue colors. The defenders of Fort Mifflin borrowed the flag because the navy was operating in the vicinity of the Delaware River forts and it was the only flag the soldiers of the fort could get. During the 5-day siege of Fort Mifflin, the flag remained flying, despite the largest bombardment in North American history up to that point with over 10, cannonballs shot at the fort.

At one point the flag was shot from the pole and two soldiers were killed raising it once more. This was the only time the flag wasn't flying throughout the constant barrage. Although the Fort did not surrender to the British, eventually it was evacuated because of the extensive damage and the defenders fled to safety in New Jersey.

Today, this flag still flies over the restored fort. Bon-Homme Richard, in battle with the British frigate H. As the Bon-Homme Richard sunk he boarded and captured the H. Serapis, then sailed the badly damaged prize ship into the Dutch harbor of Texel, where it eventually was turned over to the French. The British Ambassador demanded the ships Sherapis and Alliance, and their crews, be seized as pirates "because they flew no recognized flags," and turned over to them.

A flag based on Franklin's faulty description was then painted for the French court, who officially recognized it. Jones had one made and proudly raised this flag when he sailed back to the colonies on the Alliance. Fort Sackville was a British outpost located in the frontier settlement of Vincennes.

His celebrated capture of Kaskaskia in and Vincennes in greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. Since Clark was the highest ranking Continental officer to operate in the future Northwest Territory, he has often been hailed as the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest.


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  8. This was the flag of the gun Continental Navy frigate Alliance, one of finest warship built in America during the Revolution. During the war, the Alliance flew an ensign with seven white stripes, six red stripes, and thirteen eight-pointed stars. Under Captain John Barry she captured three enemy privateers and three Royal Navy warships during She carried American diplomats to France for the peace talks, and fired the last shots of the Revolution in an engagement with two Royal Navy warships in The "Don't Thread on Me!

    Navy in the War on Terrorism. Although there is widespread belief that ships of the Continental Navy flew this jack, there is no firm bases of historical evidence to support it. We have several fanciful contemporary pictures showing a very youthful Commodore Esek Hopkins he was actually 58 in , our First Navy Commander-in-Chief, that appeared in Europe during the Revolution that showed flags flying from both the bow and stern of his ships.

    In some pictures the rattlesnake flag appears, and in others we only have stripes.

    The First Flag Resolution 1777

    In short, there is strong reason to believe that the actual Continental Navy Jack, like the Colonial Merchant Ensign, was simply a red and white striped flag with no other adornment. It should also be noted that the so-called First Navy Jack was probably not a Jack at all, but an ensign.

    American artist John Trumbull painted a collection of paintings for the capitol rotunda, two of which showed this flag. Since Trumbull had been an officer in the Continental Army in , and for a short period was an aide-de-camp of Washington, the assumption is that his paintings are based on his personal knowledge of the people and places he painted. However, there is debate over the flags shown in Trumbull's paintings since he was not personally at all of the battles and relied on the descriptions of those who were there to compose his drawings. According to legend this flag was made either in Long Island before Hilbert's company left for Ticonderoga, or during the campaign in the Camplain Valley.

    In November the company escorted British prisoners back to Trenton and Captain Hulbert reported on his mission to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, shortly after which the volunteer company was disbanded and they all returned to their homes in January of Exactly years later, in , a tattered old flag was found in a house once occupied by John Hulbert.

    This flag was soon heralded as one of the earliest Stars and Stripes. The first official documented US flag had also a staggered star pattern and was used by the navy. Only of the original 22, Japanese defenders were captured alive. More than 6, Americans died taking Iwo Jima, and some 17, were wounded. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! In actuality, the On this day in , a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr.

    Jonas Salk. Though not as devastating as the plague or influenza, poliomyelitis was a highly contagious On this day in , speed skater Eric Heiden wins the 10,meter race at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, setting a world record with his time and winning an unprecedented fifth gold medal at the games. Heiden had been training as a speed skater since the age of Though he was a On this day in , William Edward Burghardt W.

    DuBois is born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A brilliant scholar, DuBois was an influential proponent of civil rights. On this day in , a year-old man named John Lee is sent to the gallows in Exeter, England, for the murder of Ellen Keyse, a rich older woman for whom he had worked. Although he insisted he was innocent, Lee had been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.