A Gallery Of Patriot Flags

The Green Mountain Boys Flag


  The Green Mountain Boys were a militia unit that was organized in the part of the colony of New Hampshire that would become the state of Vermont. Under the command of Ethan Allen and his cousin, Seth Warner, the Green Mountain Boys attacked Fort Ticonderoga on 10 May 1775, surprising the garrison early in the morning and gaining its surrender.

  The Green Mountain Boys Flag was comprised of a solid green field on which was placed a canton of thirteen irregularly sized and irregularly placed white stars on a blue background. The suggestion has been made that the flag's field was green because the unit operated primarily in the forests of New Hampshire and Vermont. The website Historical Flags Of Our Ancestors stated that the flag's green color made sense because it was carried in the forest, and that "bright red and white stripes were not very pratical there." There were forests throughout North America during the American Revolutionary War period, and not all of the other military units carried green flags. They seemed to do quite fine moving through forests with red, white and blue flags. It is possible that since the Green Mountain Boys were named after the Green Mountain range occupying the region from which they came, perhaps the green flag was simply meant to emphasize the idea of green; the word is in the company's name, after all. The primary purpose of a military flag was to identify particular units and serve as a rallying point for the troops in the unit. If the flag was primarily green to camouflage it while 'in the forest', then how could it function as an identifying and rallying feature? The intent of a military flag was certainly not to make it invisible, so a green flag in a green forest makes little sense.

  The Green Mountain Boys served under General John Stark's New Hampshire Militia on 16 August 1777 during the Battle of Bennington, and apparently would have carried this flag at that time. General Stark's granddaughter is said to have noted that her grandfather cherished the flag and had told his children that the flag had been in the thick of the Battle of Bennington.