Last modified: 2016-03-25 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | taunton | liberty | massachusetts |
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image by Tom Gregg, 5 April 1997
The Meteor Flag with LIBERTY AND UNION in white across the bottom edge is the Taunton Flag. In point of fact, no one knows exactly *what* the original looked like. The version in use today as the city flag of Taunton, MA (adopted by a resolution of the Taunton City Council October 19, 1974, the bicentennial of the original flag raising) is based on an incomplete contemporary newspaper description.
The Taunton Flag is quite a common sight in my home town. It flies beneath the Stars and Stripes from a tall flag pole on Taunton Green, where the original flag was raised in 1774. It is also flown with the U.S. flag over City Hall and other city buildings, and many private homes display it as well.
Tom Gregg, 10 April 1998
The original Taunton Flag wasn't a military color. It was a flag of protest and petition, actually -- one of many such that were raised on "liberty poles" throughout the Thirteen Colonies and particularly in New England during the five years prior to the outbreak of the Revolution.
The Taunton Flag proclaimed loyalty to the Crown, laid claim on behalf of the colonists to the rights of Englishmen, and called for a union of the colonies in the quarrel with Britain. It was probably raised with the authority of a resolution of the town meeting.
Tom Gregg, 14 April 1998
In the book "Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas", a different version of the Taunton Liberty and Union Flag 1774 is presented with a then standard Union Flag with the words "Liberty and Union" centered on the red vertical bar.
Steve Shumaker, 21 July 2015