The Fort Moultrie Flag

Palmetto logs and sand. What resistance could they offer to British warships? But defenders waited and they had a flag that proclaimed “Liberty.”

The attacks and campaigns in the Southern states during the Revolutionary War are sometimes overshadowed by “where Washington fought,” but important events happened in that region and a flag with important symbolism emerged from this area of conflict.

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The Sons of Liberty’s Flag

They were a bold bunch of rebel-rousers in the eyes of the British and the choir leaders in the colonial dissent about the taxes imposed by the mother country. A secretive, often underground organization, the Sons of Liberty managed to establish a network of communications throughout the thirteen colonies with major influencers in Massachusetts and New York. It was one of the first rumblings of unification for these British colonies.

So…did the Sons of Liberty have a flag? Yes. Two actually. And it’s quite a story for the history books…

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The Grand Union Flag

Nope, we’re not talking about a Civil War flag. We’ve moving about four score years farther back on the historic timeline this month to discuss flags used by the Americans during the War for Independence.

Today’s featured flag has historically been considered the first flag national flag of the United States. The design – approved by the Continental Congress – was widely used in 1776 and 1777 prior to the adoption of the “Betsy Ross Flag” which is usually associated with the conflict.

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5 Things You Should Know About Cowpens, 1781

No, we’re not talking about the cleaning or actual up-keep of pens for cattle. We’re talking about another battle from the American War For Independence.

Unlike the other battles we’ve discussed this month, Cowpens was fought in the South. The Southern campaigns of the war are often overlooked or glazed over in the history books. Why? My theory is because George Washington didn’t fight down there, and the history isn’t quite as clear as “Redcoats vs. Patriots” because there’s guerrilla fighting, turncoats, loyalists, and…oh, that’s right – the war didn’t go in the Americans’ favor until the very end in the Carolinas.

However, Cowpens is right there in the ending of the campaign. (Spoiler: It’s an American victory!) And it’s a turning point in the war which will force the British Army to return north. And one of the American commanders was from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia which is one of my favorite regions to study – so without further spoilers, let’s discuss five things you should know about this battle. Continue reading

5 Things You Should Know About Monmouth, 1778

Lest readers should get the idea that battles during the American War for Independence were often patriot victories, we’ve chosen an indecisive battle for today. The Battle of Monmouth Court House took place in June 1778, marking a change in British strategy. The battle itself unfolded with plenty of drama and even gifted the treasury of American tales with the story of a brave woman.

Whether you’ve heard of the battle before or not, here are the top five things we think you should know about Monmouth: Continue reading