Sons of Liberty Flag

Officially, the Merchant - Privateer Ensign.

Date: 1776 - 1795.

Thirteen red and white stripes, no stars. [R26]

In 1765, Revolutionary political groups were formed and called "The Sons of Liberty." The Continental Congress commissioned American privateer ships to carry a flag with seven red and six white stripes as a national flag to prevent their seizure as pirate ships. They were ordered to raid British shipping.

On Dec. 16, 1773, they disguised themselves as Indians, boarded ships in Boston Harbor and threw cargoes of tea into the bay waters. This flag became a symbol of gallant deeds at sea.