Grand Union Flag

The Thinking WASP

This is the first flag of the United States of America. It flew from 1775 to 1777.

It was conceived and flown during the American War of Independence and is called the Grand Union Flag. Sometimes it’s referred to as the Continental Colors, the Congress Flag, the Cambridge Flag or the First Navy Ensign.

By whatever name ….

Grand Union Flag 1

…. it’s striking, don’t you agree?

What was the inspiration for the design?

Let’s begin with the Union Jack.

In 1775 as the war broke out but before the Declaration of Independence, George Washington wrote to his brother explaining that large sections of the newly formed Continental Congress were working towards reconciliation with Britain.

So, the Union Jack was retained.

The ports of the British American colonies were bustling places of trade. Each merchant ship from the Mother Country flew the Red Ensign.

Here’s the Red Ensign as it was in 1775…

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