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Grand Union Flag or Continental Colors Flag

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The Grand Union Flag or Continental Colors Flag is the first recognized flag of the United States of America, adopted in 1775.

  • Various sizes available
  • Durable All-Weather Nylon
  • Digitally printed, single-reverse with four rows reinforced stitching for durability
  • Canvas header & brass grommet attachment
  • Made in USA
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About the First Flag of the United States

When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, it became clear that a new flag was needed to represent the Continental Navy and the thirteen colonies it served. Congress believed the flag should acknowledge an allegiance to Great Britain, yet still be distinguishable from the Royal Navy’s Red Ensign, which included a Union Jack in the upper left corner on a field of red.

Instead of creating an original design, the Grand Union flag became a simple adaptation of the Royal Navy’s flag. Six white stripes were sewn onto the field of red to form thirteen red and white alternating stripes, and the Union Jack remained in the upper left canton.

Alternate Names for the Grand Union Flag

The first flag of the United States of America has had several names, at least five of which are widely recognized.

  • Continental Colors Flag - derived from the flag’s color scheme of red, white and blue, which are known collectively as the Continental Colors.
  • Congress Flag - a reference to the fact that the flag was created under the authority of the Continental Congress.
  • Tea
  • First Navy Ensign - so named because the flag was first flown on the newly formed Continental Navy’s first flagship, the USS Alfred.
  • Cambridge Flag - a reference to the belief that the flag was raised by George Washington’s army on New Year’s Day in 1776 near his headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Grand Union Flag - first used in 1872 by George Henry Preble in his History of the American Flag, this remains the mostly commonly used moniker today.

How to Buy the Grand Union Flag

Our Grand Union flag is digitally printed on durable, all-weather nylon with a canvas header & brass grommet attachment. Available in a variety of sizes, the Grand Union flag can be purchased online, or by calling 1-888-697-3524.

Looking for more historical American flags? Browse our extensive collection of Revolutionary War Flags, or contact us online for additional assistance.

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