George Washington (Reenactor) to Raise Grand Union Flag
On Jan. 1, 1776, Washington's forces raised the Grand Union flag, arguably the nation's first flag, on Prospect Hill. The city will commemorate the 236th anniversary of that moment on New Year's Day.
The following is from the city of Somerville:
SOMERVILLE CELEBRATES RAISING OF FIRST AMERICAN FLAG ON NEW YEAR’S DAY
City Marks 236th Anniversary of “Grand Union” Flag Raised on January 1, 1776 by George Washington on Prospect Hill.
SOMERVILLE – Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Historic Preservation Commission Director Brandon Wilson announced that the 236th annual “Grand Union” flag-raising ceremony at Prospect Hill Park will be held on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. A processional led by a re-enactor portraying General George Washington on horseback will leave from the City Hall Concourse at 11:30 a.m. As always, members of the public are invited to participate, and are encouraged to wear traditional colonial clothing. The annual ceremony commemorates the raising of the nation’s first official flag, featuring thirteen red and white horizontal stripes, atop Prospect Hill on New Year’s Day, 1776. At the time, Prospect Hill was a key site in a string of fortifications created by Washington and the Continental Army in their siege of British troops in Boston during the first year of the American Revolution.
The afternoon’s program will include songs, readings, and participants from the Ancient and Honorable Company (first chartered in 1638), as well as the Charlestown militia. This year’s celebrations will feature a new addition: participating for the first time will be His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, who will be representing the British Army and bringing a message from King George III. The American Legion Post 19 Honor Guard will lead a military salute as a commemorative flag is raised atop the Prospect Hill Tower.
Light refreshments will be served, and miniature replicas of the Grand Union Flag, both as a flag and a lapel pin, as well as colonial-era tricorn hats and historic Somerville books commemorating the event will be available for purchase.
For more information, or to receive a free, commemorative program, contact Brandon Wilson, Executive Director at the Historic Preservation Commission at 617-625-6600 ext. 2532 or Bwilson@somervillema.gov.