Historic flags and symbols are an important part of a nation’s story, and the United States is no exception. The familiar stars and stripes on the country’s flag that represent the original 13 colonies were common in early renditions.
The Bennington flag is one example of an early flag used in the United States. This version includes white stars on a blue background, and red and white stripes as well. The difference between it and the Betsy Ross version is that the Bennington flag also includes the number “76” in the center of the circle of stars.
Other styles of flags were also used in the United States in the period prior to the passage of the Flag Act in 1777. Before that point in the country’s history, flags were created for different colonies and states, as well as organizations.
The Grand Union Flag is one example of these. Its appearance was a combination of the British Union Jack in the top left-hand corner and 13 red and white stripes. The design of the Union Jack is made up of the St. George’s Cross, which is English, and the St. Andrew’s Cross, which is associated with Scotland. Both Crosses are layered over each other and are displayed on a blue background.
A flag associated with the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place in June of 1775, was produced. Its design features a small red cross on a white background with a small evergreen tree positioned in the top left corner. This design is positioned in the left corner of a dark blue background.
The rattlesnake was used in one early American flag. Benjamin Franklin was responsible for portraying the United States as a rattlesnake that had been cut up into pieces. The Gadsden Flag uses the image of a coiled snake poised to strike. Underneath the serpent, the words, “Don’t Tread on Me” appear.
This flag is named after Christopher Gadsen, one of the delegates to the Second Continental Congress. He presented it to the Provincial Congress of South Carolina on February 9, 1776.
The Bonnie Blue flag is another example of the historic flags that capture events in the story of the United States. This one is a white star on a blue background and it was used by the Republic of West Florida in 1810. The newly-created republic only lasted for 74 days before it was annexed by the United States.
Modern history buffs or those who just want to “Remember the Alamo” can get a flag that commemorates this famous battle between Davy Crockett and his companions against forces led by General Santa Ana. The Mexican soldiers stormed the Alamo on the morning of March 6, 1836. After brutal hand-to-hand combat, the few remaining survivors were executed under Santa Ana’s orders.
The Confederate flag, with its “Stars and Bars,” was adopted by the Confederate States of America in 1861. This flag’s design is similar to the United States flag, but it has seven stars on a blue background, as well as two red stripes and one white one. The Confederate battle flag has a red background with a blue X decorated with white stars on it.
Flying historic flags is a way for a person to indicate a time in U.S. history that they are interested in or identify with. They can also be used as an educational tool to share the country’s rich history with others. Each historic flag tells a story, and provides a snapshot of a specific point in history.
Sandy Winslow is a writer of many topics including the history of America. There are few things in our country that hold more of our history than our historic flags.