The oldest known American Flag: Bedford Massachusetts. Bedford is found in Middlesex County, (the greater Boston Area.) It was ‘founded’ in 1640. Historically the town was given to the Lane Family and included Huckins Farm.
Up to this point there were no flags or seals in our young nation’s life. With the Bedford Flag, 47 years before the birth of The United States, the country had it’s inaugural pennant. The significance of the Bedford Flag was encapsulated in a famous poem from Ralph Waldo Emerson :
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,Here once the embattled farmers stood,And fired the shot heard round the world.
The unfurled flag Emerson referred to is the Bedford Flag. “The flag is made of crimson silk damask measuring approximately 27 by 29 inches (69 by 74 cm).The painted-on design depicts an armored arm grasping a straight sword coming out of a cloud. The two sides are asymmetrical; the sword appears behind the motto on one side and appears in front of it on the other. The Latin motto VINCE AUT MORIRE (“Conquer Or Die”) reads from top to bottom on one side and from bottom to top on the other.”
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