Providence, R.I. Artillery Flag

Date: 1776

Yellow banner, coiled rattlesnake, 13 five-pointed stars. (R2)

One method of representing all the Colonies in early Revolutionary flags was by means of 13 stars. The first flag known to have presented this device was that of the United Train of Artillery, a militia battery of Providence, organized in April, 1775. Its flag featured in the center of the field a snake, fouled anchor, two cannon, and two mottoes on scrolls, all in circled by 13 five-pointed stars. The source of the stars is uncertain, as is the flag's date of origin. It is believed, however, to have been in use by 1776. The original flag can be seen in the Providence, R.I. Historical Society Museum.