On this day, 239 years ago, our nation's first flag was raised. On December 3rd, 1775, American naval hero John Paul Jones hoisted the 'Grand Union Flag' over his newly commissioned flagship, USS Alfred in Philadelphia harbor.
The 'Grand Union Flag' was our country's first national flag. It was created prior to America's Declaration of Independence at the behest of the 2nd Continental Congress. During the earliest days of the American Revolution, the United Colonies needed a new standard which would simultaneously symbolize their solidarity (the thirteen red & white stripes) and their still enduring hope that Great Britain would eventually restore the rights of freeborn Englishmen to her American colonial subjects - the 'Grand Union Flag' was the result. Today, it serves to remind us of what the British Union Jack and the American Stars and Stripes would look like if they were interbred in the god-cursed laboratory of a mad scientist. The flag was also famously flown over the headquarters of George Washington during the Siege of Boston and would see wide use by America's fledging armed forces until early 1777.