Raven: A Journal of Vexillology

Volume 15, 2008

Peter Ansoff
Pages 1-21

A Striped Ensign in Philadelphia in 1754?

The flag of the East India Company has been frequently cited as a possible precursor to the U.S. flag, in part based on an engraving showing it flying in Philadelphia Harbor in 1754. This incisive and well-researched analysis demonstrates that in decorating a view of the city, the artist simply lifted an image of a “Bombay Grab” from an earlier engraving—the ship and flag were never in America.