Historic Flags Flying at the Historic County Courthouse
Randolph County Government will be flying historic flags at the courthouse that have significance for our country and region.
Each flag will fly for approximately two weeks.
February 14, 2014
Betsy would often tell her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends of the fateful day when three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home sometime late in May 1776. George Washington was then the head of the Continental Army. Robert Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was a respected Philadelphian and also the uncle of her late husband, John Ross.
Naturally, Betsy Ross already knew George Ross as she had married his nephew. Furthermore, Betsy was also acquainted with the great General Washington. Not only did they both worship at Christ Church in Philadelphia, but Betsy's pew was next to George and Martha Washington's pew. Her daughter recalled, "That she was previously well acquainted with Washington, and that he had often been in her house in friendly visits, as well as on business. That she had embroidered ruffles for his shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it was partly owing to his friendship for her that she was chosen to make the flag."
In June 1776, brave Betsy was a widow struggling to run her own upholstery business. Upholsterers in colonial America not only worked on furniture but did all manner of sewing work, which for some included making flags. According to Betsy, General Washington showed her a rough design of the flag that included a six-pointed star. Betsy, a standout with the scissors, demonstrated how to cut a five-pointed star in a single snip. Impressed, the committee entrusted Betsy with making our first flag.
January 31, 2014
E. Lee Headquarters Flag
Made for General Robert E. Lee by his wife, this unique banner became the symbol of his headquarters throughout the Civil War. It is a variation of the Stars and Bars, with a different star pattern. It is said that the pattern was a tribute to the Ark of the Covenant. It was used by Confederates to track Lee’s position on the field, which was often closer to the front lines then many of them were comfortable with. As the personal banner of the South’s brilliant top general, the original, upon which this is based, is preserved in the Museum of the Confederacy.
December 27, 2013
The Grand Union Flag was first flown on the US Navy's first flagship, the USS Alfred, on December 3, 1775 by her First Lieutenant, John Paul Jones. It was later raised by George Washington on Prospect Hill near his headquarters at Cambridge during the Siege of Boston. Historians are divided about who designed the flag or how it came to be adopted by the Continental Army and Navy as the first American flag.
The Grand Union Flag consists of 13 alternating red and white
stripes, with a British Union Jack in the canton (the upper left
corner). It is also sometimes called the Continental Colors, the
Continental Union Flag, the Cambridge Flag, the Congress Flag,
the First Navy Ensign, the Somerville Flag, the Great Union Flag
or simply, the Union Flag.
December 6, 2013
The Washington Cruisers Flag was flown on a squadron of 6 ships commissioned and personally outfitted by George Washington before the creation of the Continental Navy, in the fall of 1775 to patrol Massachusetts Bay. It is one of the earliest American Revolution Flags. The pine tree was a commonly used symbol to represent freedom in New England, while the phrase "An Appeal to Heaven" represented the colonist’s reliance on God in the face of the strongest military power on earth.
A famous letter dated October 20, 1775 from Col. Joseph Reed, an aide to General Washington at the time, describes the Washington Cruisers Flag that flew on the floating batteries. He is asking Col. Glover if he thinks the same flag would be a good flag to fly from the ships that were just commissioned. A portion of the letter reads as follows:
We have accounts that the small squadron which sailed some time ago is bombarding Fulmouth and Portsmouth. Our vessels must be careful how they fall in with them. Please to fix upon some particular colour for a flag, and a signal by which our vessels may know one another. What do you think of a flag with a white ground, a tree in the middle, the motto "Appeal to Heaven?" This is the flag of our floating batteries.
November 25, 2013 - George Washington's Commander-in-Chief Flag
The presence of the George Washington's Commander-in-Chief Flag meant the Commander of the Continental Army, George Washington, was there. It saw every battle and location that the Commander-in-Chief did during the Revolutionary War. It is unique due to its six-pointed stars and was allegedly designed by Washington himself. It features a blue field with thirteen six-pointed stars. The stars were not in the typical fashion, but instead consist of three narrow lines crossing one another with the lines tapering off at the ends. The points on the stars are also not all pointing in the same direction. Some of them are pointing in random directions. These differences in the stars are the only inconsistencies between the Washington's Commander-in-Chief Flag flying at the Randolph County Historic Courthouse and the original.
November 7, 2013 - Bennington Flag
The Bennington Flag: Used in the Battle of Bennington, Vermont, on August 16, 1777, by Vermont militia. This flag was the first to lead American armed forces on land. The original is preserved in the museum at Bennington, Vermont. There are seven white stripes instead of the usual six and only six red stripes, symbolic of the 13 American colonies. Another distinctive feature of the Bennington flag is the arrangement of the 13 stripes, with white being outermost (rather than red being outermost as in the current flag). Also, its stars have seven points each (instead of the current five) and the blue canton is wider (higher) than on other flags, spanning nine instead of seven of the thirteen stripes.
The Bennington version is easily identified by a large '76' in the canton, recalling the year 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.
- County Administration
- Office Hours:
8am - 5pm M-F
- Randolph County Office Building 2nd Floor
725 McDowell Road
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Cities, Towns and Municipalities in Randolph County