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Siege At Fort Stanwix: First U.S. Flag Flown At A Fort

Fort Stanwix.jpeg

The First US flag flown at Fort Stanwix in 1777 holds a significant place in American history as one of the earliest instances of the Stars and Stripes being raised in a military context. During the Siege of Fort Stanwix, a pivotal episode of the American Revolutionary War, the fort's defenders, led by Captain Abraham Swartout, raised the first official American flag. This historic event took place in August 1777 and showcased the determination of the American forces to resist British forces and uphold the ideals of the newly forming nation.

Captain Abraham Swartout played a crucial role in the events at Fort Stanwix. Swartout, an officer in the Continental Army, was entrusted with the responsibility of defending the fort against a British siege led by Colonel Barry St. Leger. In the midst of this siege, Swartout and his men sewed together the first American flag as outlined by the First US Flag Act of 1777. This flag, with its thirteen alternating red and white stripes and a blue field containing thirteen stars, was then hoisted atop the fort's flagpole, serving as a symbol of defiance and unity. The act of flying this flag demonstrated the resilience of the American forces and their commitment to the cause of independence.


The raising of the First US flag at Fort Stanwix marked a significant turning point in the Revolutionary War and underscored the importance of symbolism in galvanizing the spirit of the American troops. Captain Abraham Swartout's leadership and his decision to raise the flag amid adversity reflected the spirit of determination that characterized the American Revolution. The legacy of this event lives on as a testament to the sacrifices made by early American patriots and their unwavering dedication to the ideals of liberty and freedom.

Additional Resources


Siege at Fort Stanwix


National Park Service

Here's to the Red, White & Blue!!!


Nation Parks

Fort Stanwix


The Siege of Fort Stanwix




The First Flying of the Stars & Stripes in Battle and the Saratoga Campaign

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