Factual Friday

US Flag

Happy Flag Day and Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army. This week’s installment is going to focus on both!

The first U.S. flag was not the Betsy Ross version most people are familiar with but one called the Pine Tree flag.


I recently purchased a poster of the history of the U.S. flag and was surprised to learn there were actually two flags before the Betsy Ross version. The Pine Tree flag (1775) was flown by the Massachusetts Navy at the beginning of the American Revolution. I found it interesting it had “An Appeal to Heaven” on it.

The next flag was called the Grand Union flag (pictured below) which was flown by the Continental Army on Prospect Hill in 1776 and demonstrated the unity of the 13 colonies with 13 stripes. This was flown prior to the declaration of Independence and represented their allegiance to Great Britain. After we declared our independence, Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross was commissioned to design a new flag (seen at the very top of the post).

Grand Union



Speaking of the Continental Army (now known as the U.S. Army), happy 238th birthday to them! Fun fact: the original responsibilities of the Army included helping in domestic violence and disaster situations. The First Continental Congress actually rejected the idea of a national army and to keep the militias that were in place. However, the Second Continental Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775, as result of growing tensions with Great Britain. Tomorrow is the 238th anniversary of George Washington being unanimously being elected as Commander-in-Chief.

Happy Friday!!


About jenvolk5

Bank auditor by day, trivia and knowledge hound all other times.
This entry was posted in Factual Fridays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Factual Friday

  1. Ben says:

    Have you seen the “John Adams” HBO miniseries? The intro song was very well done, showing many flags of the time to include “An Appeal to Heaven”.

    • jenvolk5 says:

      Hi Ben – I haven’t seen it but I’ve heard great things about it. It’s in my queue on my HBO Go app so I just need to find some time to watch it!

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