By Sue Gaston

A not-so-famous flag with a significant history made its debut before the stars and stripes of America. Colonists were still suffering British overreach while other patriots were holding the line.

In 1775, George Washington commissioned a small squadron of ships to form a blockade against the mighty British and he needed a unifying flag. Colonel Joseph Reed was assigned the job, but a symbol of liberty already existed. When the Crown came to plunder the forests of New England, the colonists used a green pine tree on white fabric as a warning. White pine lumber was essential, profitable and worth defending. Unjust laws and theft resulted in an uprising as townsmen and mill owners ran the king’s men out of town. Additionally, John Locke’s writings about tyranny and a righteous “appeal to heaven” when justice is withheld inspired the design. With those words, Washington hoisted the flags on his Cruisers which had little chance without the “appeal to heaven”. The prayers, plans and miraculous victories inspired faith and hope during the American Revolution and I propose that it still works! (Note: How appropriate and ironic for that flag to adorn those wooden masts; the very wood England sought to unjustly harvest! I think God smiled at that one).

“And where the body of the people, or any single man, is deprived of their right, or is under the exercise of a power without right, and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven…” John Locke

“The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations…” George Washington Credits from Search: Appeal to Heaven, Dutch Sheets, Wallbuilders, Pine
Tree Flag, John Locke