A Brief History of the Bennington Flag
In the Spirit of ‘76
The history of the Bennington flag is widely debated — some reports claim that it was carried by Nathaniel Fillmore at the Battle of Bennington (which actually took place between Waloomsac and North Hoosick, New York). This is where the flag’s name is derived.
Conversely, there are those who believe that the flag could not have been constructed until at least a quarter century after the American Revolution. This group of historians think the Bennington Flag may have been crafted either as part of the 50-year commemoration of the signing of The Declaration of Independence around 1826, or as a centennial item in the last half of the 1800s.
Whatever the case may be, these seven features and facts about the Bennington flag are not disputed...
Seven Bennington Flag Facts
- Though the date of origin is still in question, it is known that the Bennington flag was passed down through the Fillmore family, and is sometimes referred to as the Fillmore flag.
- Typical of Revolution era flags, the Bennington flag features 13 stars and 13 stripes to symbolize the 13 American colonies in rebellion against Great Britain.
- The Bennington flag features a large “76” in the canton, recalling the year that the Declaration of Independence was signed, 1776.
- In contrast to most iterations of the American flag, the stripes are arranged so that the white stripes are the outermost (instead of the red).
- The blue canton is also taller than that of other American flags, spanning nine stripes instead of the usual seven.
- The stars on most American flags have five points, whereas the stars on the Bennington flag have seven points each.
- As of this writing, we have uncovered no evidence of any significant meaning to having two stars separated from and positioned above the semicircle. Like most flags of the time, the original Bennington flag was entirely hand-sewn, and the separation of the stars was probably a function of visual design and of the practical application of including all 13 stars.
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