R311 Summer 2018 The Continental Colors in Philadelphia in 1754?
Monday, 9:40–11:05, June 25
Instructor: Peter Ansoff
Historians of the American flag have long been puzzled by an engraving of the Philadelphia waterfront that was made in 1754. It depicts a ship at anchor in the Delaware River, flying a flag that resembles the “Continental Colors” or “Grand Union” flag of the American Revolutionary War navy. But that flag, and the Continental Navy itself, were not created until 1775, when Americans began their struggle for independence. What was the flag doing in Philadelphia 21 years earlier? This course will propose a surprising answer that involves events on three continents, including some maritime history, some art history, and even an excursion into the history of beer.
Peter Ansoff, an OLLI member, is retired from a career as an acquisition support contractor for the US Navy. He is a former president of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), an organization dedicated to the study of flags, and has published several research papers dealing with early flags of the United States. His other research interests include maritime history and lighter-than-air aviation history.