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Flags, or colors, helped boost morale and keep soldiers together on a smoky, often-chaotic battlefield. American troops marched under flags of all sorts during the war. A pine tree representing liberty was especially popular in New England. A coiled snake with the words "Don't Tread On Me" appeared throughout the colonies. The Continental Congress resolved in June, 1777 that "the flag of the U.S. be 13 stripes alternate between red and white and the union be 13 stars in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Even after the Stars and Stripes became the official flag of the United States, American forces continued to fly other flags. This red, eight-pointed star and homespun linen fragment was once part of a flag owned by Colonel Hugh Maxwell of Charlemont, Massachusetts.


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Revolutionary flag remnant

date   1776-1783
location   Unknown
height (sight)   11.5"
width (sight)   6.5"
process/materials   linen
item type   Ceremonial Artifact/
accession #   #1886.15.01

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Remnant of Burgoyne's flag

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