Taunton, MA Liberty Flag

Date: 1774

Red Ensign with motto "Liberty". [R31]

Mr. Clausen's flag has the single word "Liberty". These flags appeared at the same time as the Taunton which said, "Liberty and Union".  In which ever form, they mounted the words across the bottom of the field.

The following is an excerpt from a contributor to Flags of the World, Tom Gregg, 14 April 1998. Used in accordance with access rules published by FOTW.

"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."

The Taunton Flag flew 112 feet above the ground on a liberty pole. On October 21, 1774, Taunton Sons of Liberty raised the flag and tacked the following inscription onto the pole:

Be it known to the present, And to all future generations,

That the Sons of Liberty in TAUNTON Fired with Zeal for the Preservation of Their Rights as Men, and as American Englishmen,

And prompted by a just Resentment of The Wrongs and Injuries offered to the English Colonies in general, and to This Province in particular,

Through the unjust Claims of A British Parliament, and the Machiavellian Policy of their fixed Resolution To preserve sacred and inviolate Their Birth-Rights and Charter-Rights,

And to resist, even unto Blood, All attempts for their Subversion or Abridgement.

Born to be free, we spurn the Knaves who dare For us the Chains of Slavery to prepare. Steadfast, in Freedom's Cause, we'll live and die,

Unawed by Statesmen; Foes to Tyranny, But if oppression brings us to our Graves, and marks us dead, she ne'er shall mark us Slaves