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Fourth Of July Flags—Part One

June 24, 2015

My partner James is the neighborhood vexillologist. Through July 4th there will be a series of historic flags flying atop our flag pole. It started earlier this week.

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The history of the Pine Tree as a symbol of New England predates the European colonial settlements. In eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and the southern corner of Maine, there lived a nomadic tribe of Native Americans known as the Penacook. “Penacook” is an Algonquin word meaning “Children of the Pine Tree.” The Penacook people have been credited with teaching the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony much needed survival skills when the colonists were starving to death during the winter of 1621-22. A common way to customize English Red Ensigns for ships sailing out of New England was to modify the Cross of Saint George in the canton by adding a pine tree in the first quarter.

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