Saturday, April 5, 2014
Philadelphia Light Horse flag 4.7.1968
This set of 10 stamps saluted the symbolic banners of America's struggle for independence. Nine of the flags in the set were selected because of their important roles in the Revolutionary War period. One flag, the one flown at Ft. McHenry, inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner during the War of 1812.
In the fall of 1775, as the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued a set of fleet signals. Among these signals was an instruction directing his vessels to fly a striped Jack and Ensign at their proper places. The custom of the jack-type flag had originated with the Royal Navy in the 15th century or earlier; such was the likely source of Hopkins' inspiration. This first U.S. Navy Jack has traditionally been shown as consisting of 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes with a superimposed rattlesnake and the motto "Don't Tread on Me." The rattlesnake had long been a symbol of resistance to British repressive acts in Colonial America; its display on the new jack of the fledging Continental Navy fit naturally with the fervor of the times.
Thank you Merja.