Today, June 14th, is Flag Day. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a resolution “That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
By the time news of this new resolution reached the Northern Army, it had already abandoned Fort Ticonderoga to British forces under General John Burgoyne on July 5, 1777. Hence, this new flag did not fly over Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.
An earlier flag, known by several names, including the Grand Union Flag, Cambridge Flag, or Continental Colors, did fly over the walls of the Fort while occupied by the Northern Army of the Continental forces in 1776 and 1777. This flag featured thirteen red and white stripes and the British Union in the upper left hand corner–a symbol of thirteen colonies united in efforts to defend their rights, but not yet ready to declare independence. This flag was first raised over General Washington’s camp in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 1, 1776, and continued to be used by the Continental forces after independence until the resolution of June 14, 1777.
Today, the flag of the United States flutters over the walls of Fort Ticonderoga daily. It represents the culmination of the struggle for liberty and independence that began here at Ticonderoga with America’s First Victory in May 1775.