Affiliate notice

Affiliate links may be included in posts, as on sidebar ads, for which compensation may be received.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The New England Confederation

Yesterday, May 19th, marks the 365th anniversary of the New England Confederation. The photo above shows one representation of the various flags designed to stand for New England, which is the pine tree and the red field. This flag was believed to have been carried during the Battle of Bunker Hill, when New Englanders resurrected their past identity to give strength to their cause and their hopes for self government at that terrible time of war. It was also used as the ensign of the Massachusetts Navy.

The small pin shows a design which is not historic and never stood for the original New England Confederation, but was established in the 1990s as a trade and tourism promotion. Both history and modern commerce play a big role in our regional identity.

The New England Confederation was formed in 1643 just after King Philip’s War by then four New England colonies (Maine was still part of Massachusetts at the time, and Vermont was still largely unknown territory).

This political union lasted over forty years, until 1684. Its roots gave birth to a nation based on the same principles of cooperative self government, and would lead to our national Constitution in a future century.

The united colonies of New England sought protection from the Indians, from the French, from the Dutch. After the Revolutionary War when these perceived threats were no longer a source of fear or resentment, what remained were our ties to each other. Our cultural ties among the six New England states are strong and our heritage is shared. The political entity has given way to a regional identity.

For a detailed history of the flags of New England of the particular importance of the pine tree as a symbol, please see this fine essay by David B. Martucci.

No comments:

Now Available