Impressed, the three entrusted Betsy with making our first flag. The Boston people erected a pole and flew the nine-striped “Sons of Liberty” flag from it. The first official documented US flag had also a staggered star pattern and was used by the navy. The Sons of Liberty took their name from a debate on the Stamp Act in Parliament in 1765. The Governor of the Colony, John Endicott, ordered the Standard Bearers of the Colony (many towns in the Colony had an official named the Standard Bearer) to remove the St. George’s Cross from their flags. In 1770, tensions were high between the people of Boston and the Redcoats (British soldiers). Several other members of the Wilson family also served with the Chester County Militia and were present at the Battle of Brandywine. An interesting bit of erroneous research done on this flag in 1931 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. During the debate, Charles Townshend, speaking in support of the Stamp Tax Act, spoke of the American colonists as being “children planted by our care, nourished up by our indulgence…and protected by our arms.” Isaac Barre, member of Parliament and friend of the American colonists, countered with a severe reprimand in which he spoke favorably of the Americans as “these Sons of Liberty.”. “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”. On the cold, snowy night of March 5, 1770, a mob of American colonists gathers at the Customs House in Boston and begins taunting the British soldiers guarding the building. Unfortunately, there is controversy over the placement of the words, appearance of the trees and leaves, direction of branches, etc. During the war, the Alliance flew an ensign with seven white stripes, six red stripes, and thirteen eight-pointed stars. Many give credit for the design of the first Official “Stars and Stripes” to Francis Hopkinson, a Congressman from New Jersey, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. The term Pine Tree flag is a generic name for a number of flags used by the New England and Massachusetts colonies from 1686 to 1778. Flags with the word “Liberty” on them came to be called Liberty Flags and were usually flown from Liberty poles. Flag). The Americans opened rifle fire on the fort with such accuracy that the British were prevented from opening their gunports. Copies were then sent to various European ports including Texel, where the harbor master showed John Paul Jones the drawing of Franklin’s version of the American flag. On top of this Liberty Pole hung a homemade blue silk flag measuring 44 by 44 inches with the word “LIBERTY” in white sewed on one side. During the Revolution, he served in the campaigns in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and was in command of the artillery at West Point, before joining Washington at the siege of Yorktown. On March 5, 1770, British soldiers opened fire on a group of unarmed American protesters, killing 5 (either 3 or 4 immediately, one dying later), an event referred to as The Boston Massacre, sometimes called the first shots fired in the American Revolutionary War. There was an ominous incident in Boston, however, on the very day that North brought forward his repeal measure. Bauman had carefully surveyed the terrain and battle positions at Yorktown, at the siege of Yorktown. On This Day In March 5 1770. According to tradition, in June of 1776, Betsy Ross, who was a widow struggling to run her own upholstery business sewed the first flag. On March 5, 1770, a crowd confronted eight British soldiers in the streets of the city. This led to a wide interpretation by those sewing flags; although hundreds of flags were made, no two were exactly alike. Many flag historians believe that the flag was between Simcoe and his position at Gloucester Point and the sun, thus resulting in the strange colors he perceived. In 1777 John Paul Jones was creating so much havoc on the high seas with his raids on the British Merchant Marine and coastal villages that the Admiralty issued orders to have him hung as a pirate if he could be captured. To some minds the resistance then made to British authority was the outcropping of a thoroughly lawless and riotous spirit of a mob, utterly The first navy Jack was a flag consisting of 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes bearing diagonally across them a rattlesnake in a moving position with the motto “Don’t Tread On Me.” The temporary substitution of this Jack represents an historic reminder of the nation’s and Navy’s origin and will to persevere and triumph. In December 1775, Benjamin Franklin published an essay in the Pennsylvania Journal under the pseudonym American Guesser in which he suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American spirit: I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America? Her final Revolutionary War service was carrying the Marquis de Lafayette back home to France. Three years later, the Gazette printed a political cartoon of a snake as a commentary on the Albany Congress. The Boston Massacre of 1770 was an event of the American Revolutionary War where civilians were killed by soldiers. The New England merchants and ship captains wanted their ships in port to be clearly understood as ships sailing to/from New England. The provincial legislature of South Carolina did not intend for the rattlesnake on red and blue striped flag to become the symbol of its navy. Although presently much ignored the 1674 regulation never has been cancelled, so some English ships still occasionally fly the plain white flag with the cross of St. George. Three hundred Culpeper Minutemen led by Colonel Stevens marched toward Williamsburg at the beginning of the fighting. Flown by the American Navy ship Andrea Doria when it entered the harbor at St. Eustatius on November 16, 1776. It also flew this flag over the floating batteries which sailed down the Charles River to attack the British in the Siege of Boston. Hopkins ordered his ship commanders that when Hopkins raised the battleflag, all ships were to immediately attack the enemy according to a previously arranged battle formation plan. Storboston med forstæder omfatter 4,5 millioner indbyggere. Today, it is one of a handful of a pre-revolutionary flags known to exist. They met regularly under the tree. 1770 – Boston Massacre. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a resolution adopting an official flag for the Colonial forces. Since 1777, the U.S. Navy has used the Union Jack (a flag replicating the canton i.e. Copyright 2017 RevolutionaryWar.us | All Rights Reserved. Under the command of Major General Artemas Ward, they surrounded the city, blocking its land approaches and putting the occupied city under siege. As to English-owed merchant ships, in 1674 a royal proclamation had ordered English merchant ships to use the English flag of the day, the plain white flag with the red cross of St. George. She followed the accepted rules of heraldry and began and ended the stripes with white ones. While Franklin pondered possible solutions to this problem, the Dutch Ambassador, acting for his government, asked for a description of the United States Flag. 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. Christopher Seider, first casualty of the American Revolution On this day in history, February 22, 1770, 11 year old Christopher Seider is the first casualty of the American Revolution. 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. On January 1st, 1776, General George Washington ordered the hoisting of a “Union Flag in compliment to the United Colonies” on a 76 foot tall pole on a hill in Somerville, just outside of Boston. The first one is Hopkins first set of fleet signals using flags between the ships. The Sons of Liberty ruled the city through boycotts and riots. According to legend, one day in 1775, General Washington approached Rebecca Flower Young, a Philadelphia pennant and colors maker, and asked her to make a flag for use by the troops. In this Tuesday, March 3, 2020 photo a gravestone marks the burial place of victims of the 1770 shooting by British soldiers, known as the Boston Massacre, at the Granary Burying Ground in Boston. The Boston Massacre. These restrictions are independent of the copyright status. The next year, during a great battle with the English ship Serapis, Jones ship – Bonhomme Richard – was sinking and the English captain asked if Jones wanted to surrender. This flag represented a group of minutemen from Culpeper, Virginia. Other newspapers took up the snake theme. The Cowpens Flag, according to legend, was carried at the Battle. Back and forth they went, appearing to the observing British as a huge attacking force assembling. The Pine Tree has been a popular symbol of American independence in New England for years. 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 10,000 cannonballs shot at the fort. On Saturday, June 14, 1777, the business of the Continental Congress was recorded as primarily to do with the Marine Committee. 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. As the mob insulted and threatened them, the soldiers fired their muskets, killing five colonists. They marched the 240 miles through flooded country, often shoulder high in water, sending out hunting parties for food and sleeping on the bare ground. This flag was widely used on ships during the Colonial period. In 1781 and 1782, in honor of the end of the American Revolutionary War and the help of France in that conflict, a special U.S. By the time the Union Jack was used by English Navy ships, the pine tree had become a core symbol of New England. According to the later recollection of his First Lieutenant, Jones replied: “I have not yet begun to fight!”. Later, this Liberty flag was reportedly carried by the First New York Line Regiment, who largely came from Schenectady, between 1776-1777 during the revolution. This first United States Marine unit carried drums painted yellow, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles, and the motto “Don’t Tread On Me.”. The names of the inhabitants of Boston in 1790, as collected for the first national census. 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. As the American Revolution grew closer, the snake began to see more use as a symbol of the colonies. Jones had one made and proudly raised this flag when he sailed back to the colonies on the Alliance. From that point on, the flags of the United States took their own distinct path. The record shows, among other transactions, that the Navy wanted directions regarding the fleet in Delaware in case of British attack and that John Paul Jones was appointed as Captain of the ship Ranger. This was the best known of the British Maritime flags, or Ensigns, which were formed by placing the Union flag in the canton of another flag having a field of white, blue or red. From Endicott’s of 1636 order until about 50 years later, the unofficial flag of Massachusetts Bay was red with an blank white canton. It is ordered flown by all Navy of ships, under a Naval Regulation that the “The Union Jack” is to be flown from the jackstaff by all U.S. naval vessels, from 8 a.m. to sunset while the ship is at anchor. By the French and Indian War (1756 – 1763) the ensign shown on the left (with the red St. George’s Cross and a green tree in the white canton) was the one most frequently flown by the ships of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Clark ordered that a dozen flags he had with him be marched behind a slight rise to convince the British that there were 600 men rather than under 200. When the Revolution came, the Massachusetts colony in 1775 declared its official Massachusetts Navy flag to be this naval ensign (the one first above). The Union Jack was associated with English Navy ships. The last liberty pole was cut down by occupying British troops on October 28, 1776. The variation substituted a green tree for the Union Flag in the upper left white canton of the flag used by English Navy ships. On a snowy evening in March 1770, an angry mob gathered outside the old Massachusetts State House to harass the British troops gathered there to guard it. Boston er hovedstad i den amerikanske delstat Massachusetts og den største by i hele New England-området.I 2012 havde byen 636,000 indbyggere. They were flags of protest and petition flown throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the five years prior to the outbreak of the Revolution. 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. Within days of the British surrender at Yorktown on on October 19, 1781, an American artillery officer named Major Sebastian Bauman (2nd New York Artillery Regiment) drew a map with this flag pictured on it. Therefore, Gadsden designed, had produced, and personally presented to Hopkins a flag to be used as the personal standard of the new commander-in-chief of the Navy. They proclaimed loyalty to the Crown, but laid claim on behalf of the colonists to the rights of Englishmen, and called for a union of the colonies against current English colonial policies. In Massachusetts, after a particular protest of the Stamp Act was held under a particular Elm tree in Boston, known thereafter as “the Liberty Tree,” a group known as the Sons of Liberty was formed. March 5, 1770 March 6, 1770 The Boston Massacre Occurs, five people Shot and Killed. Members of Parliament included several prominent Members supportive of the American view that the tax was improper, William Pitt (the Elder), Charles James Fox, and Edmund Burk. Flown by the American schooner Royal Savage at Lake Champlain between August and October 1776. white stars on a blue field of the U.S. (An ensign is flown on the main mast; a jack is flown on the bow of the ship, but we will skip the niceties of where and how and who can fly a jack. On January 1st, 1776, General George Washington ordered the hoisting of a “Union Flag in compliment to the United Colonies” on a 76 foot tall pole on a hill in Somerville, just outside of Boston. On this day in history, March 4, 1776, George Washington takes Dorchester Heights, forcing the British to abandon Boston within weeks.After the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the local militia and the Continental Army surrounded the British troops in Boston in a siege which lasted an entire year. For example, the Continental Colors were: The Continental Colors officially passed from existence on June 14, 1777 when the Stars and Stripes were born, however there are a few documented war-time uses of it after that date. THE Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, has different meanings to different persons, varying as seen from indi-vidual standpoints. Nevertheless, he gave the Dutch visitor a description of what we now call the “Franklin or Serapis Flag.” This description was sent to the Dutch Fleet, along with the orders that it be recognized on the high seas. Among other things to protest the Stamp Act, nine colonies sent delegates to their “Stamp Act Congress” They petitioned the King and Parliament; the Act was repealed in 1766. Tensions ran high in Boston in early 1770. This flag has been widely called the “personal” flag of George Washington and reportedly made as a headquarters flag in 1777. The latest example of a Naval Regulation requiring the First Naval Jack is the following, still in effect. After the war, Simcoe went on to become Upper Canada’s first lieutenant-governor and probably the most effective of all British officials dispatched from London to preside over a Canadian province. Although the size or placement of the blue field was not specified in the Resolve, all productions of the flag have followed the general arrangement of these Continental Colors, with a blue canton. COLUMBIAN CENTINEL. The British never regained control of these posts, and the American claims in the old Northwest served as the basis of the cession of these lands to the United States at the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Bright red and white stripes were not very practical there. When the British outlawed the “Rebellious Stripes” flag, tradition tells us the Sons of Liberty created a new flag by changing the direction of the stripes. Colonial businessmen opposed the taxes imposed by Great Britain. In 1775, 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. 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 1783. According to this tradition he used this flag throughout the whole Revolutionary War. The ministers condemned the traditional “idols” of the the Catholic Church and the Church of England. However, a religious problem arose. However, being composed of practical politicians, The Great and General Court of the Colony gave the Standard Bearers permission to devise any kind of flag they wanted. The original is housed at the Bedford, Massachusetts Town Library. 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. Marine Committeeman Francis Hopkinson designed the first stars and stripes flag. The history of a flag identifying the Sons of Liberty flag began in 1765, when protests of the duties and taxes and stamps required by Parliament began in the colonies. He also received a description of the flag, and forwarded similar orders to his country’s fleet. It represented the English colonies then existing, with New England joined together as the head and South Carolina as the tail, following their order along the coast. Save. The use of such symbols is restricted in many countries. The troops, constantly tormented by irresponsible gangs, finally (Mar. It’s not a part of this article.) As far as Mr. Franklin knew, no national flag existed. Jones put into the Dutch port of Texel for refitting of Serapis. Their flag’s central symbol was a coiled rattlesnake about to strike, and below it the words “DON’T TREAD ON ME.” At each side were the words of Patrick Henry “LIBERTY OR DEATH!”. The Fort Mifflin Flag was originally a Continental Navy Jack. The traditional version of this story gives Colonial Stark’s wife, Molly Stark, credit for making the flag. A combination of the “King’s” cross of St. George and a pine tree eventually evolved. By the late 1600’s, in New England they weren’t quite so sure that the King’s personal official flag of St. George was un-Christian, and the St. George’s cross again began to appear on flags. John Paul Jones was the United State’s first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Records in all the colonies describe red and green flags similar to the one on the left. Boston 1775 History, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts. For example, the First Navy Jack was ordered to be flown instead of the Union Jack during the entire years of 1975 and 1976, as a recognition of the United States Bicentennial. After repeal of the Act in 1766, the flag became associated with the Sons of Liberty and became known to the British as the "Rebellious Stripes." This was the first political cartoon published in an American newspaper. The “Don’t Thread on Me!” and Rattlesnake Ensign has become a powerful American symbol which tradition tells us was used by the Continental Navy in 1775 and is now being used again by the U.S. Navy in the War on Terrorism. At one point the flag was shot from the pole and two soldiers were killed raising it once more. This solved the bland style of a barren white canton, and showed loyalty to the person of the King of England. In between those two items, without a word of comment or explanation, is the Resolve that “the Flag of the united states be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”. Incumbents. The navy used 25 vessels over the course of the war, acting in various roles such as prison ships, dispatch vessels, and combat cruisers. Each segment is marked with the name of a colony, and the motto “JOIN or DIE” below. The Continental Navy, knowing they were up against the greatest naval power in the world, set sail flying a flag with an “APPEAL TO HEAVEN.”. The English Army cut the tree down. On This Day in History February 22, 1770. To provide for the display of the first navy Jack on board all U. S. Navy ships during the Global War on Terrorism. When General Stark died, he was the oldest (last) Revolutionary War general. The Boston Massacre was an incident that led to the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops on March 5, 1770, the legal aftermath of which helped spark the rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolutionary War. The New England Flags sometimes showed the British Red Ensign with the tree in the first quarter as demonstrated in the second variant of New England Flags shown here. This flag’s green field made sense when you realized the Green Mountain Boys carried the flag in the forest. Those two colonies dominated trade to and from the English New England colonies. The Pine Tree has been a popular symbol of American independence in New England for years. In 1774, Paul Revere added it to the title of his paper, The Massachusetts Spy, as a snake joined to fight a British dragon. In 1636, in a sermon in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams (before he was banished and fled to Rhode Island) fastened on the cross of St. George as an “idol” and condemned the use of the St George’s cross in the colony’s flag. This was one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War with the British losing over 25% of their troops. As the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River during the fall of 1775, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued a set of fleet signals. As another example, in 1977 the Secretary of the Navy specified that the ship with the longest total period of active service must display the First Navy Jack, and that regulation continues in force to the present day. To aid in this, the Second Continental Congress authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines to accompany the Navy on their first mission. A painting of this flag was made as a part of the legal defense of Jones. The display of the first Navy Jack is an authorized exception to section 1258 of reference (a). But the original design of Hopkinson is not known. These men formed part of Colonel Patrick Henry’s First Virginia Regiment of 1775. Without exception, the Standard Bearers removed the crosses from their flags. On the morning of the third day, the British surrendered the fort and thereby control of their other posts in the previously French dominated area of what became our Northwest Territory. 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. 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. The flag of Boston consists of a sky blue field and the seal of the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in the center. The “John Paul Jones flag” was entered into Dutch records to help Jones avoid charges of piracy when he captured the Serapis under an “unknown flag.” Here’s the story. J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. Tradition tells us that this flag was raised over the Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina on March 15, 1781. It consisted of 13 red and white stripes with a very long (11 stripes long) canton bearing either 12 or 13 white stars and a gold fleur-di-lis. This plain red and white striped flag evolved into a naval ensign and was commonly used as a United States merchant ensign in the period from 1776-1800. After a protest of the Stamp Act was held under an Elm tree in Boston, the tree became known as the “Liberty Tree,” and a protest group known as the Sons of Liberty was formed. His celebrated capture of Kaskaskia in 1778 and Vincennes in 1779 greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. 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. Unlike most other states, the Massachusetts State Navy was never officially disbanded and simply became part of the United States Navy. Boston Massacre, 1770, pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the resentment against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Acts. A Brief History. The Sons of Liberty continued to meet under this tree, so the British cut the tree down, and the Sons replaced it with a Liberty pole. The first navy jack will be displayed on board all U. S. Navy ships in lieu of the Union Jack, in accordance with sections 1259 and 1264 of reference (a). In 1751, Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette carried a bitter article protesting the British practice of sending convicts to America. Indeed, in Boston, when the English general in charge saw the Union Flag added to what appeared to be a Sons of Liberty flag, he first decided it meant the American troops were surrendering. Today, this flag still flies over the restored fort. As the Bon-Homme Richard sunk, he boarded and captured the Serapis, then sailed the badly damaged prize ship into the Dutch harbor of Texel, where it eventually was turned over to the French. On reaching the English fort, they surprised Vincennes. This red and green striped flag was used by General George Rogers Clark during his attack on the British held Fort Sackville during the American Revolution in 1779. Because Gadsden also presented a copy of this flag to his home state legislature, a description of the flag is recorded in the South Carolina legislative journals. Thus, by the time just preceding the American Revolution the flag identified by many with New England as a region was that ship flag. In the fall of 1775, as the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River, Commodore Esek Hopkins instructed that the signal for attack in battle would be flying “the striped Jack and Ensign at their proper places.” The second source is a color plate in Admiral Preble’s book showing essentially the same “Don’t Tread Upon Me” flag used as a Navy Ensign. Monterey would serve as the capital of California from 1777 to 1849 under the flags of Spain and Mexico. JULIEN HOUSE. 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