Pine Tree Flag
Wool and Cotton
This “Pine Tree Flag” is one of the oldest known flags in North America, and perhaps even the British Isles. Written accounts and research tell us the motif of a pine tree was featured heavily on early American flags but this is the only known example to have survived.
The flag was found in an 18th century trunk on Long Island in 1992 by Mr. Gary Laube of Easthampton. Previously it was in possession of the Woodward family, whose ancestor Jacob Woodward was an ensign in the 6th Company, 5th Connecticut Provincial Regiment during the French and Indian War (Note the embroidered ‘5th Regt’ in the center).
The flag is homemade, truly making it one of a kind, and research has shown the missing pieces along the right-hand side were cut away on purpose, most likely as souvenirs for the remaining soldiers of the 5th Regiment. Saint George’s Cross in the top left suggests North America was still part of the British Empire when the flag was constructed, and the symbol of the pine tree connects it with the colony of Connecticut. Professional textile conservators are confident the flag could date from at least the mid-18th century.