FAIRFAX RESOLVES AND COLONEL JAMES WOOD II CHAPTERS OF THE VIRGINIA SOCIETY SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION CONDUCTED A FLAG PRESENTATION CEREMONY AT W. W. ROBINSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WOODSTOCK, VIRGINIA.
On 30 November 2021, the Fairfax Resolves and Colonel James Wood II Chapters of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a Flag Presentation ceremony at W. W. Robinson Elementary School, Woodstock, Virginia. They made presentations to eight classes of fourth graders about the colonial history of the flag and the various period attire worn by the colonists during the war. Presentations began with Fairfax Resolves Chapter President David Cook explaining the Sons of the American Revolution, his patriot ancestor and describing the naval uniform he wore.
Next was President Marc Robinson of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter. He described his French and Indian War Uniform and told how many fighters at the beginning of the Revolution wore the outfits in which they fought the French and Indians.
Forrest Crain of Fairfax Resolves continued with a description of a hunters outfit which was used by many in the militia units. Larry McKinley of Fairfax Resolves described his Continental Army uniform which was ordered by George Washington in 1779 to provide consistency in the Continental Army. Washington wanted blue as the primary color, but many units wore brown and green coats as well. Next was Dale Corey with his civilian colonial attire. This was reflective of what was worn at the beginning of the war, when a colonist would wear what he owned. He spoke of the upcoming commemorations of the 250th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War. After descriptions of the various uniforms, the compatriots gave a presentation of the flags in historic sequence. Robinson began with the current 50 star flag and a brief history. McKinley started the walk through history with the British Flag. The first flown in the colonies and lasted for almost 170 years from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 until April 1775 and the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Cook talked of the Grand Union Flag which had 13 red and white stripes and the Union Jack in the field of blue. It was used when Washington took command and flew from 1775 to 1777. Robinson spoke of symbolic flags. Crain described the Gadsden flag known commonly as the "Don't Tread On Me". It depicts a rattlesnake with 13 rattles depicting the 13 colonies who are saying don't step on me. Corey then brought out the Culpeper Minutemen Flag. This was the Gadsden Flag with the words "Liberty or Death" emblazoned to reflect Patrick Henry's speech in 1775 with became the motto of the Culpeper Minutemen. I flew during the Battle of Great Bridge in December of 1775. McKinley described the Liberty Tree Flag. This was tree with the words "An Appeal to Heaven" above the tree. This was inspired by the Liberty Tree in Boston where the colonists who opposed the British would meet. This flag was flown on naval ships. Next, Robinson read about the First Flag Act passed 14 June 1777 requiring official flags to have 13 red and white stripes with 13 white stars on a blue background. Crain discussed the Betsy Ross Flag. This flag has the 13 stripes with seven red and 6 white and a circle of 13 stars on a blue field to signify the 13 original colonies. When Washington showed Betsy Ross the design, it had six pointed stars. According to legend, she suggested five pointed stars as they were easier to make. Cook brought out the Hopkinson's Flag which is given credit by many as being the first official flag. Designed by Francis Hopkinson (a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Congressman) it had the 13 stripes but the stars had six points and were aligned in alternating rows. Three rows of three and two rows of two on the field of blue. McKinley showed the Bennington Flag. It had the 13 stripes, but unlike others in had seven white and six red. In addition, the stars had seven points. There was a star in each of the upper corners of the field with the remaining 11 providing an arch over the number 76 which symbolized the signing of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776. This was the flag flown at the Battle of Bennington in Vermont. Robinson then talked about the Second Flag Act in 1794 that called for 15 stripes and 15 stars to reflect two new States being added to the Union, Vermont and Kentucky. Corey presented the only U.S. Flag to have 15 stripes. It flew for five Presidents, including two who served in the Revolutionary War, Washington and James Monroe. This flag got it's name during the War of 1812. During the Battle of Fort McHenry, the British were bombarding the Fort which Francis Scott Key witnessed. He wrote a poem called the "Defense of Fort McHenry" which was put to music as the "Star Spangled Banner" and became the national anthem. This flag is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Cook then spoke of the 20 Star Flag which was the result of a new Flag Act in 1818. It called for 13 red adn white alternating stripes representing the original colonies and a star for each new State to be added the 4th of July. The last flag act was in 1959. This added two stars for the States of Alaska and Hawaii, giving us the 50 star flag we fly today.