Bennington, Vermont Flag

Date: 1776

Alternate red and white stripes. A blue canton with 13 seven-pointed stars surrounding the figure "76". Eleven Stars in a semi-circle, two above. [R16]

This is probably the first flag showing stars and stripes to be flown on a battlefield.

It is a hand-sewn, homespun flag made by the family of Nathaniel Fillmore, grandfather to Millard Fillmore, the 13th President. It was raised by Nathaniel at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777.

The British under the command of General Burgoyne heard that the Americans had stored military supplies at Bennington just over the border from New York. The British attempted to capture these supplies.

Two thousand Green Mountain Boys, led by Gen John Stark, decisively defeated the raiding force. British forces were so weakened by this encounter that Gen. Burgoyne's army was successfully captured two months later at Saratoga.

For some time it was thought that following the battle, the original flag was kept in the Fillmore family as a treasured possession, until it was presented to the Bennington Historical Museum where it can be seen today. There is new research that would indicate that the flag displayed at the Bennington Historical museum only dates back to the 1800s. Read more.

Vermont Governor Philip H. Hoff has signed this flag.

Left: display of Revolutionary artifacts from Bennington Museum.

Second from top: A copy of the original Bennington Flag which dates back to the 1800s is located at the Bennington Museum.