Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes The patriotism that once seemed lost in our country has been renewed, and it can be seen in repeated renditions of our country’s national anthem, God Bless America, and the waving of millions of flags from households across the country--not to mention the celebrations and memorial services held on Memorial Day each year.

A simple symbol that stands for the freedom that we hold so dear--the flag of the United States of America, was designed right here, in our area.

Residents of South Jersey can share in the pride of the flag in a very special way, because it was designed by a Bordentown resident--Congressman Francis Hopkinson. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, patriot and lawyer, he served as a loyal countryman. It was during his service as an appointee to the Continental Navy Board that he designed the first official American flag showing the stars and stripes. The flag was commissioned on June 14, 1777 and flew for eighteen years. It served our first President and the birth of a nation. Though it has made several changes since then, the stars and stripes have stood for our freedom and led us into battle throughout the centuries.

Hopkinson was one of many patriots that lived in Bordentown including Colonel Kirkbride, Colonel Hoagland and Thomas Paine. No doubt that such residents drew the attention of the British as it was occupied by the Hessians in 1776 and later burned in 1778 by the British.

Text contributed by V. VanAntwerp.

For more South Jersey History, visit our History page.

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