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Rhode Island Colonial/Revolutionary War Flags (U.S.)

Historical

Last modified: 2011-07-08 by
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Colonial flags

Field of 13 Red/white/blue stripes with yellow canton and rattlesnake "Don't Tread On Me." [ric82]
Nick Artimovich, 2 May 1996


[Flag of Rhode Island] image by Gerry Benoit, 17 July 1998

The colonial flag was a field of white, with a blue canton. There are 13 stars in the canton (the inspiration for the early U.S. national flag). The stars were gold or silver (white) depending on which source you use. In the center of the flag was a blue anchor, fouled (that is, a rope was artistically snaked from the top around the anchor). Above the anchor +there is a blue banner with the words "HOPE" in white. The flag was originally the flag of the 1st and 2nd Newport Artillery.
Gerry Benoit, 17 July 1998


Newport Light Infantry

[Newport Light Infantry flag] image by Randy Young, 3 February 2001

Source: "Flags to Color from the American Revolution."

This flag belongs to the Newport Light Infantry from Rhode Island. The colors are listed as "the union as in the Grand Union Flag; blue field; gold scrolls, anchor, G.R., flourishes, America's gown, liberty cap and chains; green leaves on the liberty pole."
"This company was formed in the fall of 1774 to improve upon 'the low State of Military Discipline' in Rhode Island. One of its sponsors, Henry Marchant, wrote to John Hancock on November 5, 1774, to inquire about obtaining arms and colors for the company: 'It is desired their Colours should be made of the neatest, best Silk of a blue Ground with the Union in One Corner, and upon a Square in the Center it is my idea to have a Female Figure representing the Genius of America Standing erect with a Staff in her Right Hand and the Cap of Liberty upon the top of it... under her Feet, the Chains of Slavery. The following Motto in some proper Place: Patria Cara, Carior Libertas [Our County is dear, but Liberty is dearer]. And, if a proper Place can be found, to have the Colony Arms, being no more than a plain Anchor. What is desired of Mr. Hancock is that he would... apply to Mr. [John Singleton] Copley to know what he would undertake to furnish the silk and to paint Them [the Colours]...' But Mr. Copley had left for London, so the colors were probably made in Newport."
Randy Young, 3 February 2001

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