13 Stars to 50 Stars our Old Glory has a long history. Celebrate Flag Day with a
interesting sojourn highlighting the evolution of our Star Spangled Banner.
Washington's Flag 1775: This was the personal flag of the Commander-In-Chief during the Revolutionary War. A reproduction of this flag flies today at Washington's Headquarters, Valley Forge.
|The Grand Union 1775: Also known as the Continental flag, it is the first true U.S. Flag. It combined the British King's Colours and the thirteen stripes signifying Colonial unity. George Washington liked this design so well that he chose it to be flown to celebrate the formation of the Continental Army on New Years Day, 1776. On that day the Grand Union Flag was proudly raised on Prospect Hill in Somerville, near his headquarters at Cambridge, Massachusetts.|
The Culpeper Flag: One of the first flags flown by our Navy may have been an adaptation of the "Rebellious Stripes" created at the time of the Stamp Act Congress. It featured thirteen red and white stripes. Stretched across them was the rippling form of a rattlesnake, and the words, "DON'T TREAD ON ME"- a striking indication of the colonists' courage and fierce desire for independence.
The flag we know today as the first Navy Jack (sometimes known as the "Culpepper Flag) is believed to have flown aboard the Alfred, flagship of the newly commissioned Continental fleet, in January, 1776. American ships used this flag, or one of its variations, throughout the Revolutionary War.
|The Betsy Ross Flag: Since there was no official flag during the first year of the United States, there were a great number of homespun flag designs. This flag is without question the most well known of those. Called the Stars and Stripes, this was formally approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The blue canton was to contain 13 stars, but the layout of the stars was left undefined, and several patterns are known.|
|The Bennington Flag: Used in the Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777, by Vermont militia. This flag is the first to lead American armed forces on land. The original is preserved in the museum at Bennington, Vermont.|
|The Serapis Flag: Designed with 13 stripes alternating red , white and blue. This flag was raised by Captain John Paul Jones on the British frigate Serapis during the most famous Revolutionary naval battle.|
|The Guilford Flag: This unusual flag was made with thirteen 8-pointed stars in a wide field. Historical records report this flag carried by North Carolina militiamen at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, March 17,1781.|
The First Official Flag of the Confederacy. Although less well known than the "Confederate Battle Flags",the Stars and Bars was used as the official flag of the Confederacy from March 1861 to May of 1863. The pattern and colors of this flag did not distinguish it sharply fom the Stars and Stripes of the Union. Consequently, considerable confusion was caused on the battlefield.
The seven stars represent the original Confederate States; South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi(January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10,1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), and Texas (February 1, 1861).
|The Confederate Battle Flag. The best-known Confederate flag,
however, was the Battle Flag, the familiar "Southern Cross". It was
carried by Confederate troops in the field which were the vast majority of
forces under the confederacy.
The Stars represented the 11 states actually in the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Missouri.
The second Official Flag of the Confederacy. On May 1st,1863, a second design was adopted, placing the Battle Flag (also known as the "Southern Cross") as the canton on a white field. This flag was easily mistaken for a white flag of surrender especially when the air was calm and the flag hung limply.
The flag now had 13 stars having been joined officially by four more states, Virginia (April 17, 1861), Arkansas (May 6, 1861), Tennessee (May 7, 1861), North Carolina (May 21, 1861). Efforts to secede failed in Kentucky and Missouri though those states were represented by two of the stars.
|The third Official Flag of the Confederacy.On March 4th,1865, a short time before the collapse of the Confederacy, a third pattern was adapted; a broad bar of red was placed on the fly end of the white field.|
Confederate Navy Jack: Used as a navy jack at sea from 1863 onward. This flag has become the generally recognized symbol of the South.
Note: It is necessary to disclaim any connection of these flags to neo-nazis, red-necks, skin-heads and the like. These groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts. They have no right to use this flag - it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state's rights and still revered by the South. In fact, under attack, it still flies over the South Carolina capitol building. The South denies any relation to these hate groups and denies them the right to use the flags of the confederacy for any purpose. The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the conderacy only exacerbate the lies which link the seccesion to slavery interests when, from a Southerner's view, the cause was state's rights.
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