First flown at the decisive battle of Bennington, this flag is the oldest stars and stripes still in existence and perhaps the first ever displayed. Britain's General Burgoyne had sent an expedition of one thousand men to capture vital supplies stored at Bennington. There the Green Mountain Boys, led by Bunker Hill hero General John Stark, delivered a stunning defeat to the attacking troops and paved the way for Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga two months later. Flag sponsored by Nisei Memorial Post 1961; General William S. Rosecrans Post 9261; Gardena Loyalty Day Parade Committee; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Congress gave the United States her first original flag on June 14, 1777 by resolving that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation. Details were left to the individual flag makers and many different interpretations of the stars and stripes appeared. Both legend and history credit this early design to Betsy Ross of Philadelphia. Flag sponsored by Sons of the American Revolution; California Society at Los Angeles.
In 1775, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Lynch, and Benjamin Harrison as a committee to select a national flag. Their choice, after consultation with George Washington, was the Grand Union flag. Reflecting the spirit of the times, this thirteen-striped banner graphically symbolized the unity of the colonies. Retaining the British crosses of Saint George and Saint Andrew, the flag further expressed a feeling of kinship with England and left open the doorway to reconciliation. Flag sponsored by Don Pio Pico Post #4696 and Ladies Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
One of several pine tree flags popular in the New England colonies, this banner reflects the sentiments expressed by the Massachusetts Congress after the Battle of Lexington and Concord: "Appealing to heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free." When the king of Naples opened his ports to American shipping in 1776, he noted flying from the main masts a pine tree flag emblazoned with the words "An Appeal to Heaven." Flag sponsored by Hawthorne Post 2075; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Following a suggestion printed in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette, several flags appeared featuring rattlesnakes in their design. Colonel Christopher Gadsden, who urged American independence as early as 1764, adopted this banner and presented it as a personal standard for the Commander-in-Chief of the newly activated navy. With the Gadsden flag flying at the main mast of Commodore Esek Hopkins' flagship, "The Alfred," the American navy achieved its first triumph on March 17, 1776 in the Bahama Islands. Flag sponsored by 100/442 Veterans Association; Nissei Veterans Association Coordinating Council. Dedicated to the men who have fallen.
Patterned after the uniforms worn by Colonel Moultrie's men and often embellished with the word "Liberty," this flag was carried by the colonial army forces in the south. On June 28, 1776, a shot destroyed the flagstaff and the banner fell outside the parapet. Under heavy fire, Sergeant William Jasper gallantly recovered the flag, fastened it to a sponge staff and shouted, "We cannot fight without a flag!" Flag sponsored by Jewel City - Glendale Post 1937 and Ladies Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The Sons of Liberty often met under the branches of a stately elm tree in Boston's Hanover square, and there they planned the Boston Tea Party. In reprisal, General Gage ordered the removal of the tree which had become a living symbol of American liberty and independence. Enraged by this act and strengthened in their resolve, the colonists designed the Liberty Tree flag, which depicted their fallen symbol and appealed to God for his divine assistance. Flag sponsored by West Covina Post 8620 and Ladies Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Flying at the battle of Bunker Hill, this banner became a proud symbol of liberty and justice for the American colonists. Although the British won the battle, their heavy losses caused one British general to remark, "A dear-bought victory -- another such would have ruined us." The strong stand of the Americans aroused feelings of exaltation and confidence throughout the colonies, foreshadowing the great spirit and determination that would prevail in the long bitter struggle for independence. Flag sponsored by 6th District Nisei Memorial Post #9902; Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Symbolic of the widening gulf between Great Britain and her American colonies, this flag was first raised by the towns-people of Taunton, Massachusetts. By inscribing the watchword "Liberty" upon the meteor flag of England, the colonists dramatized their sentiments of loyalty to the homeland and resistance to the misgovernment by the British. The growing desire for self-rule and greater independence for the thirteen colonies eventually led to the outbreak of the revolutionary war one year later. Flag sponsored by Azusa Post 8070; Veterans of Foreign Wars and Los Angeles County Employees Association.
The only United States flag to bear more than thirteen stripes, this flag flew above the battlements of fort McHenry and was immortalized by Francis Scott Key. It was carried by Lewis and Clark on their courageous westward trek across the uncharted continent. Lieutenant O'Bannon and Midshipman Mann raised it over Tripoli as they subdued the Barbary pirates. The world was becomming aware of the United States' determination to preserve and protect its liberty and independence. Flag sponsored by Los Angeles Police Post 381; The American Legion.
Captain James Lawrence, as he lay dying after a fierce battle which he lost to the British, said, "Don't give up the ship!" Three months later at Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry flew this banner emblazoned with these immortal words from the main mast of his flagship. When the decisive battle ended, Perry sent a message that will live forever in the annals of our heritage: "We have met the enemy and they are ours." Flag sponsored by North Hollywood-Sun Valley Post 10040; Ladies Auxiliary and Junior Girls Unit; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Recognizing the need for a new flag to better represent the growing United States, Congress passed the third flag law in 1818. Beginning July 4th, one star would be added for each new state, while the thirteen stripes would always remain. Captain William Driver was to give this flag a lasting heritage when it was presented to him for his birthday on March 17, 1824. To his Salem friends he said, "I name her Old Glory." Flag sponsored by Sixth District and Ladies Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The budding republic of Texas was given a flag tradition in February 1836, when Colonel James W. Fannin pleaded "Give us a flag to fight under." The Lone Star flag, designed by Dr. Charles B. Stewart, was adopted in 1836 and represented the proud republic through seven years of independence. When Texas added the twenty-eighth star to the flag of the United States in 1846, the Lone Star banner was retained as the Texas state emblem. Flag sponsored by Fifth District and Ladies Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
A small band of American settlers, resisting Mexican authority in California, captured the town of Sonoma on June 14, 1848. Known as "Los Osos" (The Bears), they proclaimed the independence of the California Republic and proudly hoisted this flag. When United States troops rallied to their side, the settlers abandoned the idea of independence. Four years later, with victory achieved, California was admitted to the Union and the Bear flag was adopted as the state banner. Flag sponsored by Nisei Memorial Post #9938; Veterans of Foreign Wars. In memory of all departed comrades and Motumo "Mote" Nakasako.
When the Civil War began in 1861, a flag of thirty-three stars flew above Fort Sumter. Shortly thereafter, Congress considered redesigning the banner to more accurately depict the divided nation. When the struggle ended it remained basically the same flag, although three stars representing three newly admitted states had been added. The Confederate states were welcomed back into the Union in the spirit of Lincoln's second inaugural address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all." Flag sponsored by Seventh District; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Adopted by the Confederate government on the day Lincoln became president of the United States, this stars and bars flag was raised over the Capitol at Montgomery, Alabama by Letitia Tyler, granddaughter of ex-president John Tyler. Confusingly similar to the Union flag when seen from afar, it was supplanted on the battlefield by a more easily distinguished battle flag. Thousands of American fought and died under the banner of the Confederacy before the nation was reunited.
For forty-seven years, throughout a period of unprecedented growth and development, this forty-eight starred banner waved while the United States took her place as "Leader of the free world nations." It flew bravely above the battlefields of Chateau-Thierry and the Meuse-Argonne, at the Normandy beachhead and Okinawa, the Pusan perimeter and the landings at Inchon. The stars and stripes was now recognized as a symbol of liberty, not only for Americans but for freedom-loving people everywhere. Flag sponsored by Fourth District; Veterans of Foreign Wars.
From a fledgling union of thirteen colonies, the United States has grown to a great nation of fifty states spanning an entire continent and beyond. The "New Constellation" of our founding fathers now shines its light around the globe, sending a beacon of hope and inspiration for all the world to see. For now it can tryly be said, "that these the United States, are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Flag sponsored by Sons of the Revolution; State of California.