Raven: A Journal of Vexillology

Volume 21, 2014

Byron DeLear
Pages 19-70

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.