Each of these flags has
been chosen to hold a place in our special selection because of
the important role it has played in the unfolding of our Nation's
history. They may be purchased separately, or as a complete set
of ten. Please appreciate each for its history, which is offered
below the picture. Click here
for more historical flags.
1. ST. GEORGE CROSS - this
is the flag carried to the New World by most of the early English
explorers. Its use can be traced back to 1277 in Britain.
2. KING'S CROSS - one of the military colors used by the British
colonial troops after 1743. As the British Union flag it was the
standard raised by the Jamestown settlers in 1607. The design originated
when King James I of England combined the St. George Cross with
the Scottish Cross of St. Andrew.
3. BRITISH RED ENSIGN - this was adopted by Queen Anne in 1707 as
a new flag for the United Kingdom - the Union Jack on a field of
red. Cornwallis surrender under this flag at Yorktown in 1781.
4. CONTINENTAL FLAG - Colonial John Trumbull's painting, "The
Death of Warren", shows this flag to be the one used by American
forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775. The painting
is now at the Yale University Art Gallery.
5. GADSEN FLAG - named after Colonel Christopher Gadsen of South
Carolina, this flag was flown early in 1776 by Commodore Esek Hopkins
of Rhose Island. Hopkins was the first Commander-in-Chief of the
Continental Fleet. Its inscription represented a warning by the
colonists to the British.
6. GRAND UNION - the first (unofficial) flag of the United States.
It was raised in 1776 to celebrate the official status of the newly
formed Continental Army by General George Washington, whose camp
was then in Cambridge. Also known as the Cambridge Flag or Continental
7. BETSY ROSS - the first official United States flag, this was
adopted by an Act of Congress on June 14, 1777. According to legend,
a group headed by George Washington commissioned the seamstress
to execute their design for presentation to Congress.
8. BENNINGTON - believed by many authorities to be the first Stars
and Stripes used by American troops. Flown over the military stores
at Bennington on August 16, 1777 when General John Stark's militia
led Americans to victory over British raiding force. The original
flag is preserved in the Bennington, Vermont Museum.
9. STAR SPANGLED BANNER - shortly before the War of 1812, two new
states were added to the Union and a flag consisting of 15 stars
and 15 stripes was created. This flew over Fort McHenry during a
British naval bombardment and was what inspired Francis Scott Key
to compose what later became our National Anthem. The restored flag
now hangs in the Smithsonian.
10. OLD GLORY - born of the need for a more practical design to
accommodate new states entering the Union, our 50-star flag has
been in use since July 4, 1960. It was Congress on April 4, 1818
that established the number of stripes at seven red and six white,
and provided for the addition of one star for each new state.