Colonial Protest Flags

By:  Ken Molzahn

Similar to symbols used in demonstrations today, American colonists flew flags to protest British authority in the thirteen colonies prior to outbreak of Revolution.  These flags were raised in opposition to the Taxation and Policy Acts of Parliament, which were enacted shortly after the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.  The vexilliogy of these colonial protest flags has rarely been explored as a standalone topic.

Other than the commericial availablity of two examples, most protest flags have been relegated to archives or long forgotten. As the protest flags were painted or sewn quickly, only a handful survive with an even a smaller number are currently on display in the United States.

Ken Molzahn rectifies this gap in our historical understanding of the pre-Revolutionary War period and the symbols signifying defiance of British rule. For a captivating review of the Colonial Protest Flags, click for Ken’s well-researched article.