Thursday, October 06, 2016

'Liberty and Union': The Taunton Flag, 1774 - the first flag of American devolution and independence

It looks like a son of Ulster emigrant parents was the mastermind of a pre-Revolution movement called the ’True Born Sons of Liberty’, founded in the 1760s. In 1774 they unfurled a huge version of this flag on a 112 foot flagpole in the town of Taunton, Massachusetts, which is still celebrated there every year with re-enactments and a weekend festival. Earlier that year they issued a document from New York under the noms-de-plumes John Calvin and John Knox!  There is a massive Scotch-Irish story in between the bookends of the 1718 arrivals and the Revolution of 1776. A regular reader is going to love the reference to 'meet under the Liberty Tree' in the document below :). More to follow when I’ve done all the reading.

• Meanwhile why not buy a t-shirt?
• Or enjoy the poem by Hezekiah Butterworth (1839–1905)
• Here’s PD Harrison’s account of the story : “no thought of severance from the mother country, their only thought being liberty of action’.
• In an interesting twist that deserves more research, Harrison says that in March 1775 a similar flag was raised in New York 'which bore "No Popery", the words of Janet Geddes, as she hurled her stool at the surpliced ministers in the High Church of St Giles’s, Edinburgh, in 1637'

319600 taunton

Pumpkin Patch