The American Revolution was unlike any other event throughout history. From the desires of freedom and liberty, a nation was born. Freedom from a country that many Americans wanted be a part of, but knew that King George III would never recognize America as a separate nation and allow it to represent itself within the established British government. There were many flags from this turbulent time, each expressing how the people felt about their quest for independence.
Most citizens considered themselves to be British subjects, but wanted a way to express their desires of being a separate nation. Early flags attempted to show a feeling of unity between Great Britain and America. Flags such as the Bunker Hill, with the cross of St. George in its canton, it showed the colonist ties to mother England. It also demonstrated their spirit of independence with the addition of the pine tree, a symbol of Massachusetts.
As the desire of independence grew, and talk of armed conflict became louder and louder, flags of the time demonstrated the colonial revolutionary spirit. Such as the Gadsden, First Navy Jack and the Culpeper Minute Men, each giving notice to their motherland to be very careful. "DON'T TREAD ON ME" they proclaimed. "LIBERTY or DEATH" became the battle cry of many an early colonial militiamen. "LIBERTY" became the motto of the soldiers at Fort Moultrie defending their city from the British navy.
Once the war started, it was decided a new flag was needed. One that would represent these "united states" as an "independent" nation. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress declared that the nation's flag will be "thirteen stripes alternating red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field". Every year our country celebrates this day as "Flag Day". Since congress did not stipulate the arrangement of the stars, there were many variations. There was the original Betsy Ross; designed by George Washington. The Bennington boldly displayed '76'. The 3rd Maryland Regiment flew their own interpretation. Each flag was different, but each represented a people united in their belief of becoming a free and independent nation.
There have been a number of requests to provide some recognition to the other side of our fight for independence. In order to pay tribute to the British, we selected a symbol of the royal crown. The GR - Broad Arrow was applied to primarily military items in order to mark it as property of the king, George Rex III.
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