Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, USA!

I like flags.  I mentioned that, right? 

So, in honor of the nation's birthday, here are some flags through its history, including a few before it was actually a separate country.

From 1775, this was a Continental Navy flag.  It wasn't about Federal taxes.  Really.

Also from 1775, this was the Sons of Liberty flag.

Clearly, 1775 was a busy year for flags.  Probably had something to do with there not being an actual country or central authority.  This was a New England, though the tree puts me in mind of California.

Now, this is probably my favorite, combining my two favorite countries as it does.  This one dates to 1776 and was the Grand Union flag, making obvious the ongoing connection to Britain despite the conflicts.

The better known flag from 1776, the famous Betsy Ross version.

A new favorite for me.  This was a Maryland regiment's flag at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1777.  Evidently the original is in the Maryland State House.  I'll have to get a copy to fly at my house.

This one's called the Indian Peace flag and is from 1803.  I don't suppose the Indians found much peaceful about it.

The Great Star flag from 1837.  No idea why the stars were configured this way.  Not much standardization back in those days.

The symmetry in this 1847 flag is interesting.  Reminds me of Chinese Checkers, though.

This was the flag flown at Ft Sumter in 1861.  Some 14 years and 4 more states later someone was trying to keep the 1847 design going.  Looks more like Space Invaders than Chinese Checkers.

Post Civil War, this 1877 flag is curiously amateur looking. Does everyone claim to be the biggest star?

After 1877 the flags more or less fall into line and keep the same basic idea as our current flag, just adding in new states as necessary.  There hasn't been a change in the flag since 1960 when our last states were added.  Puerto Rico, we're waiting for you.

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