Raising 'Grand Union'

Every New Year’s Day, modern-day patriots gather at Prospect Hill in Somerville, Mass., where Gen. George Washington Jan. 1, 1776 witnessed the raising “Grand Union,” the first uniquely American flag.


Although, the English soliders garrisoned in nearby Boston may have dismissed the raising as a symbolical gesture, but at the very moment, Gen. Henry Knox was finishing a 300-mile trek with 60 cannon captured from Fort Ticonderoga, an English fort on the New York banks of Lake Champlain. Knox arrived at Washington’s Cambridge heaquarters Jan. 24, 1776 and by March batteries in Cambridge and Dorchester Heights made the English garrison in Boston untenable.

The English left Boston March 17, 1776, a holiday still celebrated in Boston as “Evacuation Day.”

(Photos courtesy of the City of Somerville’s Historical Preservation Commission)






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