Historical Flag

Written by Donald Sparacin
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An historical flag is one that played some sort of role in the history of the United States. It could be a regimental flag that was carried into battle by some military branch, or it could be one of the many revisions of a current flag. An historical flag could be the original "stars and bars" that the Confederacy used, or it could be one of the many versions of a Jolly Roger flag. We will discuss some of the more popular versions of the historical flag.

An Historical Flag Summary

As mentioned, an historical flag can be one of the many revisions of a current flag used today. The United States of America flag for instance has seen countless revisions since the original. Each succeeding revision is what we prize today as an historical flag. Most Americans know the Betsy Ross flag to be the first flag of our country. The thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen white stars in a circle on a field of blue is the historical flag we immediately imagine as our first flag.

In reality, the first flag of the newly formed country that George Washington flew in Cambridge didn't have any stars at all. There were the traditional thirteen red and white stripes to represent the original colonies, but instead of the star field there were red and white crosses on the field of blue. This historical flag is known as the Cambridge flag, Continental Colors, or the Grand Union flag.

Historians believe that the first appearance of stars on the American flag was on the Bennington flag. This flag featured the thirteen stripes, but in the blue field eleven stars half circled the number "76" and two other stars were displayed on top of the others. It is unclear as to which colonies the two top stars represented. The original Bennington flag has been preserved in a Bennington, Vermont museum.


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