Monday, November 19, 2007

Flags of America, pgs 30-31

Beginning at the second paragraph:
"This Pine Tree Flag was the banner carried by the infant American Navy which consisted of a fleet of six ships where were denominated "Washington's Cruisers."

"...Thus this Pine Tree Flag may be accepted as the first ensign of the American sea forces in New England.

"...The solemn motto inscribed on the flag first appeared in a resolution of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts adopted shortly after the battle of Lexington and Concord and addressed to the British Sovereign, with the words, "Appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free." It characterizes the quiet firmness with which our forefathers resolved to claim the birthright of freedom and to fight for it, under the direction of Divine Providence, if needs be."

The motto show here is close to correct, with a most common error, with the incorrect word "AN" added before the motto defined by Commander in Chief George Washington's aide, Colonel Joseph Reed, who wrote "Appeal to Heaven".

"An" Appeal to Heaven could suggest one time or one person, "Appeal to Heaven" is an ongoing, collective imperative, more than a suggestion, less than a command, for all Americans to follow, if we as a Nation were to receive as George Washington would say, "the blessings of Divine Providence".

Further, the Reed letter says a "white ground", here there is a patch of grass at the trunk of the tree. The position of the motto, above or below the tree is not defined, nor is the shape of the tree for the Liberty Tree first Navy flag. A "tree" flag that exists from the time period is the Southhold flag, that has a simple triangle for the tree.

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