Author Topic: Flag of the Month, November 2021 - The Bunker Hill and the Continental Flags  (Read 65 times)

Offline Mrs. Smith

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Good morning, everyone!

This month's installment of Flag of the Month is a Two-Fer, ya'll.

The Bunker Hill Flag, and the Continental Flag!

The Bunker Hill Flag is a popular American Revolutionary flag that some believe was flown at the Battle of Bunker Hill at the outbreak of the war during the Siege of Boston. The flag is an English Blue Ensign with a St. George's Cross in the corner with a pine tree, which represented liberty to the colonists. Many historians believe the Bunker Hill Flag was not actually flown at Bunker Hill, but was the result of a printing mistake in a flag book years after the war. Most believe if there was any flag flown at Bunker Hill, it was a red flag with a simple pine tree in the corner. St. George was the patron saint of England and his flag was used as the English flag since the time of King Henry VIII.



The Continental Flag was allegedly carried by the colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the second engagement of the Revolutionary War. The red flag features a white canton (the upper left corner) with a New England pine tree in the center. The pine tree was a common symbol representing liberty in colonial New England. Historians are divided about whether or not this flag truly appeared at Bunker Hill since there are no contemporary accounts of its presence there.



The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775. The colonists' militia groups had been camping around Boston since the outbreak of hostilities at Lexington and Concord on April 19. Now they were surrounding Boston in an effort to keep the British confined to the city. Just before the 17th, the colonists learned the British were going to try to take possession of the hills surrounding the city. Boston itself sat on a piece of land that was mostly surrounded by water, with only a small neck of land connecting to the mainland. It was easy for the colonists to block that route.



In the morning, British General Thomas Gage discovered what the colonists had done during the night and immediately began to assemble his troops to confront them. More than 1500 Redcoats rowed a short distance across Boston Harbor to land on the peninsula. This is the same route that Paul Revere rowed on the evening of April 18th to warn Lexington and Concord that the British were coming.
The British made two assaults on the colonists on Breed's Hill, losing a great many soldiers, but were driven back each time. Eventually reinforcements came to aid both sides and the numbers on each side were doubled. A third effort by the British to take Breed's Hill was successful because the colonists ran out of ammunition and were forced to flee. Many were shot down on Bunker Hill as they fled.
The Battle turned out to be a devastating one, especially for the British, who had 226 killed and 828 wounded. The colonists lost 115 men, with 305 wounded and 30 captured. It was a blow to the British in troops, as well as in pride. The colonists were grieved at the loss of their friends and family members, but they proved to themselves and the world that they could stand up and fight for themselves against the largest army in the world.



The pine tree was a symbol representing freedom to New Englanders. They often modified existing British flags with pine trees to show they were still loyal to the British Crown, but were going to defend their liberties. The Bunker Hill Flag, Continental Flag and Washington Cruisers Flag, a flag created for a squadron of ships commissioned by George Washington, all incorporated the Pine Tree.

"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

"A generation which ignores history has no past, and no future." - Lazarus Long

"I will accept the rules that you feel are necessary for YOUR freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." - Robert A. Heinlein

"What we do now echoes in eternity." Marcus Aurelius

"I can kill you with my brain." - River Tam

Rifleman 5/29/16
Distinguished Rifleman 06/19/19 LADYSEED
KD Rifleman 10/20/19  KD Requal 10/04/20

Offline Hasty Sling

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The Bunker Hill flag. Was it blue? Was it red? Was it there? We’ll probably never know. All I know is that I love it.

Next to the Betsy Ross flag, which adorns one of my LTRs, it's my other favorite flag of that era. So I’ve made it my personal Appleseed hat. Wore it to two out of three clinics this year, all to good measures. As I photographed it I noticed how gritty it’s getting. I guess it’s due to the accumulating miles.

Thanks for posting on this symbolically significant flag.

Offline cornhskr

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Thank you.  I asked Mahamotorworks about this months flag.  He's a friend. I gave up Facebook because of their denial of free speech.  I count on this forum for the flag of the month to take to shoots and talk about it.  Thanks for posting here.

Offline Mrs. Smith

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Gentlemen, it pleases me more than I can say that this effort has been well-received. You can thank Maha for both the inspiration, and most of the work!

Hasty Sling, that hat has indeed seen many a mile. Give it a gentle bath and it'll be with you for many, many more.

Corn, brother, if I could, I'd do the same thing. But if I did that, then my small contributions to Liberty via the state pages I manage would go with me. The rewards are worth the cost, even when the cost is sometimes  :2t  :slap:  :DH:  Riflemen persist, each in our own way.

We have two more flags to showcase in the series, so stay tuned. 13 months, 13 colonies.
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

"A generation which ignores history has no past, and no future." - Lazarus Long

"I will accept the rules that you feel are necessary for YOUR freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." - Robert A. Heinlein

"What we do now echoes in eternity." Marcus Aurelius

"I can kill you with my brain." - River Tam

Rifleman 5/29/16
Distinguished Rifleman 06/19/19 LADYSEED
KD Rifleman 10/20/19  KD Requal 10/04/20