OUR FLAGS

  1. British Union Jack
    The British Union flag, sometimes called the Union Jack, was carried by the Jamestown settlers in 1607 and by the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Today, it is the official flag of the United Kingdom. Its design can be found in the Hawaii flag and several flags of other nations, including New Zealand and Australia. Of special note is the fact that the British Union flag was flown upside down—usually a sign of distress—many times when forces were under siege during the Boer War. Scouts will remember one hero of the Boer War: Robert S. S. Baden-Powell, the founder of the worldwide Scouting movement.
  2. 46 Star Flag
    By 1908, the United States of America had grown to encompass states from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Nearly all of the territory in between had also been recognized with statehood. When Oklahoma joined the Union, the U.S. flag changed to include 46 stars, a design that would last for only four years and the administrations of two presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. For us, there is further significance. This is the flag that was flying over America in 1910 when the Boy Scouts of America had its beginnings. Let us honor this flag with a song that also honors our nation; let us honor our nation with a song that also honors the land.
  3. Continental Flag
    A nation’s flag is a stirring sight as it flies in the wind, representing a country’s land, its people, its government, and its ideals. The Egyptians flew the first flag like symbols thousands of years ago, and people have been flying them ever since. While many flags have flown over what is now the United States of America, the first flag to represent all the colonies was the Continental Colors, also called the Cambridge Flag or the Grand Union Flag. This flag, on which the British flag appeared at the upper left, was the unofficial American flag in 1775 and 1776. On New Year’s Day 1776, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, George Washington chose it to be flown to celebrate the formation of the Continental Army. Later that year, it became the first American flag to be saluted by another country—the Netherlands. Let us honor this flag with a song that also honors America:
  4. Betsy Ross Flag
    With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the new American nation needed a flag of its own. On June 14, 1777, Congress passed this resolution: “Resolved: That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Each star and each stripe represented one of the colonies that would become the United States. The Flag of 1777 flew over the young nation for 18 years. George Washington was the only president to serve under this banner. To this day, June 14, the birthday of our flag, is celebrated each year as Flag Day.
  5. Serapis Flag
    Designed with 13 stripes alternating red, white, and blue, this flag was raised by Capt. John Paul Jones on the British frigate Serapis during the most famous naval battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1779, after conducting sea raids on the coast of Britain, Jones took command of a rebuilt French merchant ship that had been renamed the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard in honor of Benjamin Franklin. In September of that same year, Jones engaged the British frigate Serapis in the North Sea, sailing in close, lashing his vessel to the British ship, and fighting the battle at point-blank range. During the fight, two cannon burst on the Bonhomme Richard. The British captain asked Jones if he was ready to surrender. Jones replied, “Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!” Eventually it was the crew of the Serapis that surrendered, though the Bonhomme Richard was severely damaged. The American sailors boarded the Serapis and watched from the deck as the Bonhomme Richard sank beneath the waves.