The Stars and Stripes flies in battle for the first time

The Stars and Stripes flies in battle for the first time

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The American flag is flown in battle for the first time, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware. Patriot General William Maxwell ordered the stars and strips banner raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. The rebels were defeated and forced to retreat to General George Washington’s main force near Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania.

Three months before, on June 14, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

READ MORE: 10 Rejected American Flag Designs

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

READ MORE: What Is Flag Day?

Written on: June 14th, 2011 by: in Q & A's

When and where the American Flag was first flown in battle has not been definitely determined by scholars. On June 14, 1777, Congress made the following resolution: “The flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a blue field. . .” Official announcement of the new flag was not made until Sept. 3, 1777. 1 It was certainly flown during the Mexican War (1846-1848) and the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Legend has it that Betsy Ross’ famous flag was first flown in battle during the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in 1777.

This legend appears to have its beginning during the Colonial Revival period. In 1901, the first monument erected at the battlefield stated the flag was present during the engagement. However, the monument was modified in 1932 to be less definitive.

Nevertheless, the custom and tradition that the flag flew in battle was codified in The Battle of Cooch’s Bridge by Edward W. Cooch, published in 1940. Cooch stated, “(1) That circumstantial evidence indicated that the first use of the Stars and Stripes was a Cooch’s Bridge. Although this has never definitely been proved, it has likewise never been disproved. (2) That all evidence in support of Brandywine may be used in support of Cooch’s Bridge” (Cooch page 60).

Cooch supported his argument that the flag was at Cooch’s Bridge by assuming that the flag was present eight days later at the Battle of Brandywine (September 11, 1777), a claim that has since been refuted by scholars.

As historians and flag scholars continued to research the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, they found it unlikely the flag was flown there.

According to archeologist and historian Wade Catts, “The American formation fought as an ad hoc light infantry corps composed of picked men and volunteers from throughout the army and only existed for a month. The whole purpose of the infantry was stealth and secrecy so it is highly unlikely they would have carried a flag into battle.”

Charles Fithian, Curator of Archeology for the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, agrees: “The Stars and Stripes started as a Naval Flag so it is unlikely a light infantry unit that had just been formed would have had the flag. And they tended not to carry flags which would announce their presence.”

Neither Mr. Catts, who is currently writing a book on the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, nor Mr. Fithian have found historical evidence of the flag being flown at the Battle, nor of any British accounts that mention it.

Mr. Fithian explained there are no stars and stripes among the “Tarleton Flags,” the only surviving flags from the Continental Units. Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton captured the flags in two battles (1779 and 1780) and sent them back to England as trophies. These flags stayed with the Tarleton family until their sale at auction in 2006.

During a surprise attack in 1779, Tarleton captured the battle flag of the Continental Army’s 2nd Light Dragoons, also known as Sheldon’s Horse, which saw combat at the Battle of the Brandywine.

Special thanks to Steve Newton from the Delaware Division of Libraries and Margaret Raubacher Dunham from the Delaware Public Archives for their research assistance and to Charles Fithian and Wade Catts for the historical analysis!

About Us

Welcome to the official blog of the Delaware Division of Libraries (DDL). DDL, the State Library of Delaware, administers state and federal programs to support libraries throughout Delaware, manages Delaware Library Access Services (library services for the blind and physically handicapped), administers the Delaware Library Catalog, purchases databases and electronic resources, supports integration of new library technologies, and facilitates the Delaware Center for the Book.


Now that the Confederate flag flap has gone national, let's examine what this hoopla is all about.

In 1962, as part of the centennial celebration of the War of Northern Aggression, South Carolina raised the Confederate battle flag over its capitol.

It is not, by the way, in a position of sovereignty. It's in the honorary position, as protocol demands, beneath the American and South Carolina flags. If, for example, Massachusetts wanted to fly the rainbow flag in honor of its congressional delegation, that flag would occupy the honorary slot, third from the top of the flagpole, just as the Confederate battle flag does in South Carolina.

So the Confederate battle flag has been atop the South Carolina state house for 38 years. Now, in all that time, has that flag flying had any material or legal effect on any human being?

I venture to say that most people were unaware that it was even there. But let's be fair. Let's say the South Carolina Legislature votes to take down the Confederate flag. Now, will the absence of that flag have any material or legal effect on any of us?

So you have a situation in which there is a dispute but not about any substantive matter. Whether the flag's there or not there, our lives remain the same. So what is the argument about?

Well, like so many arguments in America today, it's about politics and interpretation of history. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People -- having won all its legitimate legal battles -- got to casting around for some reason to stay in existence and decided to attack historical symbols of the Confederacy. It dubbed the dear, old banner the most odious symbol in the universe. It says that the battle flag is a symbol of slavery and racism. And there's the conflict.

Realizing that the meaning of any symbol lies in the eyes of the beholder, those who defend the Southern heritage adamantly reject the NAACP's definition. To us, the battle flag is a symbol of courage, honor and love of freedom. Despite the mine-deep ignorance of most people today, the facts are on our side. The South did not secede to preserve slavery, and the North did not invade to end it. The differences between North and South, which surfaced long before slavery even became an issue, were economic, cultural and political. The South seceded to preserve the constitutional republic of sovereign states, and the North invaded to destroy that republic once and for all and establish the centralized national government we have today.

Slavery had been a global institution imposed on the colonies by Great Britain -- over the protests, by the way, of both Virginia and Georgia colonists. When the United States was created, it was a national institution. Racism was national. Slavery was protected by the U.S. Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court. If any flag symbolizes slavery in the United States, it is the Stars and Stripes, not the Confederate battle flag.

After all, during the war, it was the commander of the Northern armies who owned slaves while the commander of the Southern armies had freed his. The majority of Southerners didn't own any slaves, and, of those who did, some were black slave owners. In short, the South is tired of being the scapegoat for national sins and a fund-raising tool for the NAACP.

A second factor in the dispute is the First Amendment. The fact that a minority or even a majority decides that a symbol is offensive cannot be reason to ban that symbol. But, because the NAACP wants to boycott South Carolina and Jesse Jackson wants to boycott Georgia (its state flag incorporates the battle flag), I have a suggestion: Why don't all the South haters just stay out of the entire South all at the same time?

Delaware Backstory: History or myth?

The late artist Jack Lewis added the Stars and Stripes to his painting of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, which hangs in Legislative Hall in Dover, at the request of two prominent Cooches, urging him to reflect the traditional – if unproven – account that the flag first was flown in battle there. (Photo: THE NEWS JOURNAL)

The arrival of September renews a battle you’ll only find in Delaware.

This good-natured battle focuses on whether the so-called “Betsy Ross” flag first flew in the first state.

Historians debate whether Miss Betsy of Philadelphia even made such a “first flag,” noting many flag-makers and credit-takers.

And where it first flew, well that’s a whole other tussle.

For a long time, you could read a monument in Delaware and know for sure that the flag first flew here.

Or so you would have thought.

The monument was dedicated in 1901, on the anniversary of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, near the namesake span.

Children who were descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers did the honors of unveiling the monument.

The Revolutionary War fight the monument still commemorates erupted on Sept. 3, 1777, sprawling over miles of farmlands and woods around Iron Hill, also giving the skirmish its other name as the Battle of Iron Hill.

The monument in front of the Cooch home, which the British made their headquarters, said definitively that the 13-star, 13-stripe flag first flew in battle there.

But there was no solid historical proof, as challengers pointed out.

And, ultimately, the monument was changed.

In 1932, the State Historic Markers Commission removed the plaque placed by patriotic groups and citizens, replacing it with one that changed the wording to say the battle is “claimed to have been the first in which the Stars and Stripes were carried.”

That did not, however, stop the late Edward W. “Ned” Cooch Jr. from believing.

As generations of Delaware school children and history groups of various types visited the Cooch home, the gracious host always would point out the hoof marks on the first floor from the British officers’ horses and the tradition that the first “Stars and Stripes” flew on the battlefield encompassing his family’s farm.

Even absent the type of proof historians required to state the story as fact, he said there had to be reason behind the longtime local account and he found no harm in believing that reason was truth.

More than a century after an unknown number of militia members and Hessian soldiers fell and were buried in unmarked graves on the battlefield, there came what The New York Times reported “almost became the Second Battle of Cooch’s Bridge.”

That skirmish swirled around a painting of the state’s only Revolutionary War battle, painted in the 1980s by the late artist Jack Lewis of Bridgeville.

Lewis, who died in 2012 just days shy of turning 100, was commissioned to paint 10 historic-scene murals for the 200th anniversary of Delaware being first to ratify the U.S. Constitution, earning its First State nickname.

So of course, one of his paintings depicted the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge.

And anyone who heads down to our capital can see it hanging proudly in Legislative Hall, even cite it as “proof” that the flag was flown there.

But the painting didn’t always show “history” that way.

Superior Court Judge Richard Cooch shared the backstory on the painting with The News Journal a couple of years ago, explaining that he and his father made sure the battle painting showed the flag.

When Lewis first finished the painting, the flag wasn’t there.

The story, in part, goes back to the good judge’s grandfather.

He was Lt. Gov. Edward W. Cooch Sr., whom News Journal columnist Bill Frank regarded as an eminent Delaware historian and whose book on the battle endures as a state history classic.

Frank called him “a stouthearted defender of the story about the American flag’s having been first subjected to military fire in the vicinity of the Cooch mansion.”

The prominent columnist admitted he was skeptical.

But over the years, he wrote, he had “come to believe” the flag story, included in the notable Works Progress Administration’s 1938 classic “Delaware A Guide to the First State.”

“Tradition declares,” the famed tome says, “that here the Stars and Stripes was first unfurled in battle.”

And if the Cooches had their way, it would fly in Lewis’s painting.

During the 1986 painting controversy, Richard Cooch told The News Journal, “My father and I pointed out that circumstantial evidence indicates that battle may have been the first one where the Stars and Stripes was flown.”

Tag-teamed by Cooches, Lewis added the flag. Placed in the lower right corner of his painting, it dominates the scene.

And that, too, lends credence and weight to the tale that continues to evade being proven or disproven.

Every September, when the anniversary of the battle rolls around, I always wonder about the flag.

Some regular Delaware Backstory readers asked what I think of the ongoing skirmish.

Like generations of Cooches and the late Bill Frank, I guess I want to believe.

Do you have a Delaware Backstory? Tell robin brown at (302) 324-2856, [email protected], on Facebook, via Twitter @rbrowndelaware or The News Journal, Box 15505, Wilmington, DE 19850.

ANNIVERSARY PLANNING: The public is invited to help plan a celebration for the 50th anniversary next year of historic preservation laws. The meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14 at the Milford Museum at 121 S. Walnut St., Milford.

The guest presenter at the meeting will be Dan Costello, a retired National Trust for Historic Preservation lobbyist.

Short History of the United States Flag

Jason Morrison

The current flag of the United States is the twenty-seventh version of the national flag. When the Thirteen Colonies were seceding from the British, there became a necessity for a flag to symbolize the patriot cause and rally individuals for the Revolution.

The first “official” flag was “the Continental Colors,” also known as the “Grand Union Flag,” which consisted of thirteen red and white stripes and the United Kingdom’s flag in the upper-left-hand corner, also known as the canton. It was the same design as the flag for the British East India Company that flew from 1701 to 1801. However, the British East India Company’s flag ranged from nine to thirteen red and white stripes and was usually only flown when it was sailing in the Indian Ocean. The Continental Army flew the flag until 1777.

Colonel William Moultrie commissioned "The Moultrie Flag" in 1775. First "official" flag of the 13 colonies known as "the Continental Colors" or "Grand Union Flag." "The Gadsden Flag" designed by Christopher Gadsden in 1775.

During this time, other flags were flown to show support for Independence. Christopher Gadsden designed "The Gadsden Flag" in 1775. This flag depicts a rattlesnake with the phrase “DONT TREAD ON ME” in a field of yellow. The Continental Marines used the Gadsden Flag during the early years of the war and the flag still flies today as a sign of American patriotism. Colonel William Moultrie commissioned "The Moultrie Flag" in 1775 to prepare for war with Great Britain. It depicts a white crescent moon with the word “LIBERTY” inscribed within it on a field of navy blue. It was flown during the American victory at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in June 1776.

A popular belief is that Elizabeth Griscom, a Philadelphia flag maker who was also known as Betsy Ross, sewed the first “official” flag in June 1776. The legend goes that George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross came to Betsy Ross’s house to discuss the design of a national flag. The original design had six-sided stars representing the thirteen colonies on a field of blue with red and white stripes. She suggested a five-pointed star. The three men, amazed at how quickly she could cut the five-pointed stars, assigned her with the task of sewing the flag.

This belief originated with William J. Canby, Ross’ grandson. He presented this idea to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870 and stated that his aunt Clarissa Sydney Wilson, one of Ross’s daughters, told him the story in 1857. Ross had died twenty years prior. Today, there is no conclusive evidence supporting or denying this claim.

"The Betsy Ross Flag" believed to have been originally designed and sewn by Elizabeth Griscom, known as Betsy Ross.

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the first Flag Resolution. This resolution officially adopted the “Stars and Stripes” as the national flag and states:

Resolved That the Flag of the united states be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation.

June 14 th is celebrated as Flag Day because of this resolution. Since the resolution did not specify the arrangements of the stars, flags exist with a variety of “constellations.” The “Betsy Ross” flag arranges the stars in a circular pattern.

Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey, claims that he designed the “Stars and Stripes” that was designated as the national flag. The above resolution was adopted from the Marine Committee, who had been using these guidelines for flags since July 4, 1776. Francis Hopkinson was chairman of the Navy Board’s Middle Department which was under the Marine Committee at the time that these guidelines were established in 1776. On May 25, 1780, he requested a quarter cask of wine in payment for his help in designing the national flag and aiding in designing the Great Seal for the United States. After his letter went unanswered, he asked for £2,700. The Auditor General, James Milligan, and the Chamber of Accounts, investigated his claim and noted that Hopkinson was not the only person on the Navy Committee or the three Great Seal committees, so he should not singularly be called out and compensated for his work. There are no surviving illustrations of his design, but the flag most likely has 13 red and white stripes, and 13 six-pointed stars in a field of blue.

This 20 star and 13 stripe flag was used between July 4, 1818 and July 3, 1819. The 15 star and 15 stripe flag was used before the Second Flag Act was signed in 1794.

Congress did not dictate why red, white, and blue were chosen for the flag in their resolution. The only explanation given is from Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress. On 1782, he consolidated the designs and work from the three committees tasked with creating a National Seal. No original design from Thompson exist depicting this consolidated seal, but he wrote a detailed summary including the meanings behind the colors of the United States. He stated:

The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.

In 1794, a second Flag Act was signed. In this resolution, two new stars and two more stripes were added to the design, which symbolized the addition of Vermont and Kentucky into the Union. This flag remained in use even when five more states were added to the Union. In 1818, the third Flag Act was signed that started the precedent of adding another star to the flag after each state’s entrance into the Union. In addition, this act reduced the number of stripes from fifteen to thirteen.

The current flag has fifty stars and has remained unchanged since Alaska and Hawaii entered the Union in 1959 and 1960 respectively. This is the longest-used rendition of the flag.

Stars and Stripes : The Story of the American Flag

Schools, parades, post offices, and the moon. These are just some of the places we see the American flag.

Fifty stars stand for the states that make up this country. Thirteen stripes remind us of the colonies that fought for their freedom. But the flag has not always looked the way it does today. Its history is as colored and rich as our country's past. Yet despite the ways the flag has changed in the past two hundred years, the pride, unity, and strength it inspires have never faltered.

STARS AND STRIPES: The Story of the American Flag invites readers to travel back in time and witness firsthand how our flag came to be.

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LibraryThing Review

Another great book to read aloud to students about the history of the United States. The book talks about the different places you can see an american flag and the history behind it. I also like how . Читать весь отзыв

LibraryThing Review

This is a great book on the American flag. It reveals so much history and so many variations of the flag that anyone with an interest in America or history in general would certainly enjoy this. Читать весь отзыв

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Об авторе (2003)

Sarah L. Thomson is the author of Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag, a Nebraska Golden Sower Award finalist all the Wildlife Conservation Society I Can Read Books, including Amazing Tigers!, winner of an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award and What Lincoln Said, written with "admirable simplicity" (ALA Booklist). Sarah lives in Portland, Maine.

Bob Dacey and Debra Bandelin's first picture book collaboration was Miriam's Cup: A Passover Story by Fran Manushkin, a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection. Their numerous awards in illustration and design include gold and silver medals from the New York Society of illustrators. They have been married for ten years and live in upstate New York.

Red, White, Blue - and Gold

The American Flag, as it is known today, flies over the National Monument. It is flown following the U.S. flag code regulations. At all times of the year it is a quite a site to see.

National Park Service VIP Mike Hucko

Article Written by Park Ranger Kelly Cardwell

. These are the possible proud colors that flew over the Mohawk Valley from the walls of Fort Stanwix throughout the month of August 1777, during a bitter siege that was won by Colonel Peter Gansevoort, his Third New York Regiment, and their allies. On August 2, approximately 1,600 British troops and allies arrived at the fort. The British commander, General Barry St. Leger, offered the Americans escape in exchange for unconditional surrender. By August 3, Gansevoort and his officers gave their response to this offer, as recorded by a young lieutenant: Early this Morning a Continental Flag made by the Officers of Col. Gansevoort's Regiment was hoisted and a Cannon Levelled at the Enemies Camp was fired on the Occasion. [1] Gansevoort himself later issued a statement back to St. Leger on the occasion as well: "It is my determined resolution. to defend this fort and garrison to the last extremity, in behalf of the United American States, who have placed me here to defend it against all their enemies."[2]

This simple act of defiance led to the eventual victory by the Fort Stanwix garrison and the end of the Siege of 1777 a simple flag and some strong words of warning. With this, the history of Fort Stanwix was set into motion. More than 200 years after this event, many Romans continue to be inspired by, and commemorate, the flying of the flag during the siege. If you are from the area please now, reflect: What Honor America Day Celebration is complete without all of Rome's citizens gathering on the park lawn under our national flag? How many Romans have flags in their yards to honor the many veterans of this community and their heritage? How many of us have driven our cars past the cemetery on Jervis Avenue wondering just what was it that inspired Francis Bellamy to write our national Pledge of Allegiance? And, how many have sent our children, or even yourselves have gone, to one of the various schools named after these long ago patriots: Gansevoort, Fort Stanwix, or the old Willett Trade School? This moment, has become a rallying point in a small patriotic community a spark that unites, like so many others across the nation.

But, the one question that stands to be answered after all of this time is which flag actually flew during the siege upon the fort? By the 1800's a local resident named Pomeroy Jones, born several years after the siege of the fort, set out to answer this very question and began collecting stories from Revolutionary War veterans. He, and later a man named James Weise, learned about the possibility that Gansevoort's officers created the first "Stars and Stripes." Like Jones, Weise himself had gathered his information, while researching the stories of Revolutionary War veterans from and around the fort to make the most complete single story he could. Weise researched a captain of the Third New York, Abraham Swartwout. Weise's work, published in 1899, stated that as the Third New York Regiment received additional troops on August 1 and 2, 1777, they brought word of the Flag Resolution passed by Congress on June 14, 1777. Therefore, the flag was of great importance. This fact cannot be disputed. Weise's work was so influential a popular history text published an account of the events at the fort based on his research. In 1923, the New Larned History stated that the: …Journal of Capt. Swartwout of Col. Gansevoort regiment written on August 3, 1777 in Fort Schuyler shows beyond a cavil when the first flag of Stars and Stripes of which we have record was made and hoisted, but it was in a fort (Schuyler), not in the field, or at the head of a regiment. However, Swartwout did not actually leave a journal behind, nor did any of his letters or papers written mention the design of the flag.[3]

The secondhand accounts recorded by Jones and Weise were enough to create debate for years. Neither of them however, interviewed the two most prominent members of the fort: Gansevoort and his second in command, Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett. What follows is how they and their families remembered the events of August 3, 1777.

The Grand Union Flag, popular in the Continental Army of the day,
as shown at Fort Stanwix NM today

The 13 Striped Flag as based on description, as shown at Fort Stanwix NM today

Willett wrote his thoughts about the flag in his personal journal 25 years after the events of the siege. The Fort had never been supplied with a Flagg – The importance of having one on the arrival of the Enemy had set our Ingenuity to work and a respectable one was formed the white stripes were cut. the blue strips out of a Cloak…The red stripes out of different pieces of stuff collected from sundry persons. The Flagg was sufficiently large and a general Exhilaration of spirits appeared on beholding it Wave the morning after the arrival of the enemy.[4]

This "strip" and "striped" flag could have easily been the Grand Union flag a flag that had been used since at least early 1776 to represent the union of both the new United States, and their continued, if not strained, loyalty to Great Britain. There is also a possibility that it was a simple pattern with alternating red, white, and blue stripes. Willett neither mentions the British Union piece, nor does he call it a "Continental" flag while referring to it, which the Grand Union flag was considered. In 1831, it was Willett’s son that identified the flag as the Continental while publishing his father’s papers. Other evidence shows that a similar design was used during the war by various troops.[5]

The 3rd New York Regimental Flag as dispayed at Fort Stanwix NM today

However, newspaper articles written in Albany and New York City in 1877 claim the Gansevoort family had kept the flag that their father and grandfather flew over the fort during the August siege. The flag was said to be of heavy fine blue silk, 7x7 feet square, with fringe on some sides. The center of this flag bore a beautiful painting, with a circular crest, with two statuesque women, and the words “Excelsior” at the bottom. It was very similar to what would become the New York State crest the following year in 1778.[6] This flag indeed became the basis for the New York State flag and Gansevoort’s granddaughter donated the original to the Albany Institute of History and Art for all to see.

Stars and Stripes? Maybe not … however, is the flag the most important thing about the events of August 1777? Again, probably not. The pride associated with the flag is still reflected in the lives of people who live in Rome, New York, and throughout the Mohawk Valley to this day. The flag that flew at the only American fort to never surrender under attack during the entirety of the American Revolution. So whether it was the Grand Union, New York State, or some other flag that has yet to be discovered, Romans can be proud that like the generations before them, they remember our history and live in one of the birthplaces of our “United American States.”

About this Collection

This online collection includes the complete seventy-one-week run of The Stars and Stripes World War I edition. The Stars and Stripes was published in France by the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) of the United States Army from February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919.

"The Owner of the Stars and Stripes." Illustration by Cyrus LeRoy Baldridge.The Stars and Stripes, February 7, 1919, p. 1, col. 3..

General John J. Pershing wanted a newspaper written by servicemen for the soldiers on the battlefront. On the front page of the first issue, Pershing endorsed the newspaper and characterized its purpose and content: "In this initial number of The Stars and Stripes, published by the men of the Overseas Command, the Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces extends his greetings through the editing staff to the readers from the first line trenches to the base ports. These readers are mainly the men who have been honored by being the first contingent of Americans to fight on European soil for the honor of their country. . . . The paper, written by the men in the service, should speak the thoughts of the new American Army and the American people from whom the Army has been drawn. It is your paper. Good luck to it."

The newspaper's mission was to strengthen the morale of the troops and to promote unity within the American forces, then widely scattered and fulfilling many apparently unrelated functions. The venture was immediately popular with the soldiers, quickly selling out its first issue of one thousand copies. Although designated as the "official newspaper of the AEF," its independent editorial voice earned the confidence and affection of common soldiers.

The Stars and Stripes, published exclusively in France during its seventeen-month run, used a layout typical of American newspapers of the day, with wide columns, "all-cap" headlines, and lots of illustrations. The editorial staff assigned to the newspaper was composed mostly of enlisted men, including several career journalists. Second Lieutenant Guy T. Viskniskki from the Wheeler Newspaper Syndicate, New York Times drama critic Alexander Woollcott, bibliophile John Winterich, and cartoonist Abian "Wally" Wallgren of the Washington Post were among those who contributed their experience and skill.

"First papers off the press starting for the men in hospitals. These were distributed by the American Red Cross." Photograph. From Harry L. Katz, A Brief History of The Stars and Stripes, Official Newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces in France (Washington, D.C.: Columbia Publishing Co., 1921), p. 37.

Beginning with an initial printing of one thousand copies, The Stars and Stripes grew to a high-circulation newspaper, reaching well over half a million readers by its one-year anniversary. The newspaper's content contributed to its success, as did its distribution system. By a feat of ingenuity and perseverance, agents delivered the paper to the majority of the subscribers on the date of publication. Captain Richard H. Waldo, who had worked at the New York Times and Good Housekeeping before his enlistment, devised a system by which soldier distributors, or "field agents," at each Army Post Office coordinated distribution by rail, truck, and automobile (including three Cadillacs). French news dealers also delivered copies of the weekly to field agents and to hospitality centers staffed by the YMCA known as "YMCA huts." In addition, distributors mailed more than two hundred thousand copies to military bases and individual subscribers back home in the United States.

Appearing during a pivotal period in world and American history, The Stars and Stripes is a unique type of newspaper: a military newspaper published by the United States government. Documenting the experience of American soldiers during wartime, The Stars and Stripes represents a remarkable achievement in twentieth-century journalism.

Very few original issues of The Stars and Stripes exist because of the difficulty in acquiring and preserving newspapers during the conflict. However, in 1920, the AEF Publishing Association in Minneapolis produced a bound volume containing facsimile reproductions of each page of the World War I edition. The library of Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio, acquired one copy of this facsimile. A training center for U.S. troops going overseas, Camp Sherman was known as "the soldier factory" of World War I.

The Library of Congress's Serial and Government Publications Division received a commemorative facsimile volume from Camp Sherman. From this 1920 facsimile edition, the Library prepared a microfilm copy. The bound volume originally used to produce the microfilm copy had about eighty torn pages, causing the microfilmed images of those pages to be incomplete. For the online collection, these images were scanned from a second bound facsimile volume, donated to the Library in the 1990s. The Library of Congress's Rare Book and Special Collections Division is custodian of two bound sets of printings of the original World War I edition of The Stars and Stripes, which are in fragile condition and were not used in preparing the digital collection.

The Stars and Stripes flies in battle for the first time - HISTORY

Offered by:
Bud Hannings
P.O. Box 432
Pennsylvania 19038

David Campbell

God Bless America and God Bless the Stars and Stripes

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History, Legends and Mysteries of the Catholic Church.

Price $39.95 Plus S&H $4.00

This is the latest work from Bud Hannings. It is written in chronological fashion and covers the periods from the Roman Empire through the 21st Century. The book covers the Ten General Persecutions and it includes many of the saints who gave their lives for their faith. It also covers the continual line of popes from Peter to Francis, the 266th pope. The book includes the changes of emperors and kings and tells the stories of the saints who lived during the time periods covered. The book, 8.5 x 11, contains 433 pages including an index. It also details the difficulties between the Catholic and the Protestants.

Historical And Religious Books

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

“The U.S.-Mexican War, also known as the Mexican-American War and the Mexican War, was a conflict that took place from 1846 to 1848, mainly centering around control of Texas. Mexico claimed this territory despite Texas having declared itself a republic years earlier, while the U.S. wished to annex Texas and make it the 28th state. The war was fought with no allies and was the first offensive war for the United States. This chronology focuses on the military actions of the war as well as the many Indian incursions before the war. The various campaigns, sieges and skirmishes in both the United States and Mexico, on both land and sea, are covered. Some of the heroes of this war also served during the War of 1812 and many also rose to high military office during the Civil War. The contributions of the individuals who later became generals during the Civil War are highlighted in this book. This book is a valuable resource for detailed information on specific actions in the war and the people who fought it.” The book contains 80 illustrations and a comprehensive index.

A Chronological Encyclopedia

Abington News & Views interview with Author Bud Hannings of Bud Hannings, Inc., Publisher of U. S. Military History books.

America's Glorious Battle History and Its Heroes

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

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A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes
Volumes 1 and 2.

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Gift Shops, Historians, Researchers, Students, History Buffs,
Students of History, Parents helping, Children with History Homework.
Or Just the Pure Enjoyment of American and Military History.

We are especially glad you stopped by to visit our page!
We hope you'll find we have just the right books for you.
Please take time to enjoy the rest of our web site

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

From forts to blockhouses, garrison houses to trading posts, stations to presidios, missions to ranches and towns, this work provides a history of the primary fortifications established during 400 tumultuous years in what would become the United States of America.

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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Chronology of the American Revolution

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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American Revolutionary War Leaders

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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Every Day of the Civil War

A Chronological Encyclopedia

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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The French and Indian War

A Chronological Encyclopedia

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Through McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers

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A Chronological Encyclopedia

(Selected by National Archives For Reference Department)

Archibald H. Eagle (Archie) the podcaster.

Photograph Copyright © Bud Hannings, 2007

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Informative site. It was helpful to us with regard to our book regarding the Forts in the U.S.

Copyright © 1996-2012 Bud Hannings All rights reserved.
All Unauthorized commercial republication, by any means, of materials,
including but not limited to, Site Templates, Graphics and Design
contained on this site is prohibited.

Welcome to The Newspaper Archives of Stars And Stripes

The North Africa and Mediterranean editions (1942-1945) from World War II are now available!

This database contains over 1 million historical newspaper pages from Stars and Stripes, the independent daily newspaper of the U.S. military.

At present this archive includes newspapers published from 1948 through 1999 and editions published in the UK and the Mediterranean (including North Africa) during World War II. For current news and information, please visit

The full-page newspaper pages are rendered in both PDF and JPG format and are searchable by keyword and date, making it easy to explore this unique content. Because the publication history of Stars and Stripes spans several wars, its printing locations and the geographic regions covered changed with the movement of American troops. It was also published in multiple editions—as many as 35 during World War II. To gain a better understanding of this complexity, please see the Publication History section.

Stars and Stripes is likely the only independent news media in the world to operate from within a nation’s defense department. Although the organization is authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense, Stars and Stripes content and coverage is completely independent of outside control or interference. Its singular coverage of the U.S. military offers first-hand accounts of life in peace and during times of war from the service members’ point of view.

Use the archive to gain a new perspective on military conflicts and news, to research the military service of a friend or family member, or simply to read about a person or event that interests you.

Watch the video: Aaron Tippin - Where The Stars u0026 Stripes u0026 The Eagle Fly


  1. Mureithi

    I accept it with pleasure. The question is interesting, I will also take part in the discussion.

  2. Corley

    full of FOOFOL !!!

  3. Loritz

    This also happens :)

  4. Ea

    The trifles!

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