A Gallery Of Patriot Flags

Stars And Stripes
     Flown On The Alliance


  The frigate Alliance flew this flag as John Paul Jones, in the Bonhomme Richard fought and eventually captured the H.M.S. Serapis in the harbor of the Texel, Holland. The Alliance later sailed alongside the captured Serapis as an escort.

  The flag appears on a painting now in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. It is believed to have been painted by either John Paul Jones, himself, or by a Dutch artist on 04 or 05 October 1779 while the ships were harboring at the Texel for repairs.

  Edward W. Richardson, in his book Standards And Colors Of The American Revolution suggested that this flag would have been the closest to the original intent of the elegates assembled in Philadelphia in the Second Continental Congress. He noted that Alliance had just sailed from America to Europe (arriving just prior to the engagement of the Bonhomme Richard and Serapis) with George Washington's Aide, the Marquis de Lafayette as a passenger. Richardson noted that "It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that the Alliance's stars-and-stripes was an accurate interpretation of the intent of the Congressional Resolve of 1777." He further noted that "Having white stripes on the outer edges is correct from a heraldic standpoint..."

  Although Mr. Richardson's guess regarding the heraldic influence of this flag's stripes is a valid as anyone's, as a student of heraldry myself, I have not come across any heraldic dictum that states a flag of uneven number of stripes should bear the white ones on the outer edges.

  A small vignette on a map published in 1783 displays the Stars And Stripes flag similar to the one flown on the Alliance, and having seven white and six red stripes, with a canton of thirteen white stars on a blue background. The number of points on the stars in the flag depicted in this etching cannot be determined.

Washington And Franklin Founding The United States Of America ~ a cartouche
Published April 3d. 1783 by the Proprietor John Wallis, at his Map-Warehouse, Ludgate Street, London
This image maintained by the Library Of Congress