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As the colonial forces took on a national aspect it became necessary to provide a national flag for them. Out of this situation came the Grand Union or Cambridge Flag with its field of thirteen alternate red and white stripes, which symbolized the union of the 13 colonies, and the King’s Colors in canton. While the banner was only half America, it expressed the thought of the times and the political situation in the colonies, which at that time still acknowledged their allegiance to Great Britain. The colonists wanted only justice and their rights as Englishmen. They were united in their determination to secure them and to fight for them if necessary. The Grand Union Flag was raised at Cambridge, January 2, 1776, by General Washington, and given a salute of 13 guns. The occasion marked the beginning of our National existence. It continued to be the flag of the Revolution until the adoption of the Stars and Stripes by an Act of the Continental Congress, June 14, 1777, the birthday of the American Flag.
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