One of the earliest flags utilized by the American colonists during the American Revolution was the Appeal to Heaven flag. This flag prominently displayed a white pine tree with the phrase “AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN” written in capital letters above it. It was designed by Colonel Joseph Reed, who served as General George Washington’s secretary.
Commissioned by General Washington in October 1775, the Appeal to Heaven flag was flown by a squadron of six frigates. Additionally, it was adopted by the Massachusetts state navy. The flag was a symbol of the colonists’ belief that they were fighting for a just cause and that God would help them to achieve victory.
Although various other flags such as the Grand Union Flag, Betsy Ross Flag, and Gadsden Flag were popular among the American colonists during the Revolution, the Appeal to Heaven flag held significant prominence. It epitomized the colonists’ determination to fight for their independence and their unshakeable belief that God stood by their side.
Historical Background of the Appeal to Heaven Flag
The Appeal to Heaven flag was first raised in October 1775 when General Washington commissioned a fleet of six frigates to combat the British forces. Its design was the brainchild of Colonel Joseph Reed, who served as Washington’s secretary. Reed opted for a white pine tree as the flag’s central symbol, as it was a familiar tree in New England and represented strength and resilience. The words “AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN” were inscribed above the tree in capital letters, serving as a reminder of the colonists’ conviction that they were fighting a righteous battle and that divine support would secure their triumph.
The Massachusetts state navy utilized this flag until 1777 when it was replaced by the Grand Union Flag. Nevertheless, during the American Revolution, some privateers and militia units continued to employ it.
Significance of the Appeal to Heaven Flag
The Appeal to Heaven flag embodied the colonists’ resolve to fight for their independence. It served as a constant reminder that they fought for a just cause and believed in divine assistance. Moreover, the flag symbolized the colonists’ unwavering commitment to God and the principles of liberty.
This flag holds immense significance in American history. It serves as a poignant reminder of the colonists’ bravery and determination during their struggle for independence. Furthermore, it symbolizes the paramount importance of liberty and the indomitable power of faith.
The Appeal to Heaven Flag Today
The Appeal to Heaven flag is still used today by some people who are interested in American history or who believe in the importance of freedom and the power of faith.