Monday, September 5, 2011

ICV 24 - International Congress of Vexillology, Day 5 - 32nd Presentation by Christopher Maddish, USA

Day 5 - Speaker #33

The thirty third presentation was given by Christopher Maddish and was entitled The Mysterious John Hewson-Martha Washington Flag.

The Martha Washington Flag
"Lost Flag from the American Revolution"
this is not a British Ensign

Nearly all the records and details about the flags flown in the early part of the American Revolution are scanty or were lost. But I proved to the world of vexillology that 'lost flags' still exist.

My talk centered on a mysterious handkerchief made during the early part of the American Revolution before the stars and stripes were adopted. The handkerchief in question was apparently made by John Hewson in Philadelphia at the request of Martha Washington. It features General Washington on horseback surrounded by four flags. Three are well remembered - the Rattlesnake Gadsden, 13 stripe, and pine tree. But one has been misidentified as colonial British ensign. Rather it is a 13 ray pinwheel design, in a similar tone to the Japanese Rising Sun flag, minus the sun.

I gave an overview of the handkerchief's origin and a short biography of John Hewson - who was a patriot as well as refined artist. Finally I proposed a name for this 'lost' flag of the American Revolution as the "Martha Washington Flag."

The Martha Washington Flag like the other three were not regimental banners. Rather the flags of the handkerchief, like George Washington on horse back, were intended to be national symbols of the American Revolution. They were in fact unofficial de facto flags of the American Revolution in the early phase of the American Revolution.

Three flags are well remembered, and at long last for the final banner, its time has come.

Introdutory video Shown at the Congress

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