Volume 21, 2014
Revisiting the Flag at Prospect Hill
Grand Union or Just British?
Recent research has questioned whether the Grand Union flag (a.k.a. “Continental Colors”) really flew at Prospect Hill, Boston, on 1 January 1776. Eyewitness accounts use the term “union flag” and a new interpretation theorizes this to have referred specifically to the British Union Jack and not the characteristic “union flag with 13 red-and-white stripes.” This paper rebuts the new interpretation and supports the conventional history through an examination of eighteenth-century linguistic standards, contextual historical trends, and additional primary and secondary sources.