A Festooned Fourth ~ Flag Tour
June 29 - July 6, 2017

Welcome to the Historic Ninth Street Hill Neighborhood and "A Festooned Fourth!"

As you tour our old neighborhood during the week surrounding the 4th of July, you will see a display of patriotic decorations and colors reminiscent of the turn of the century. At that time in our country's history, patriotism flourished and the 4th of July called for decorations on houses, storefronts, and public buildings... often done with the Victorian philosophy of "Too much is not enough"!

In a true Victorian tradition, the Historic Ninth Street Hill Neighborhood is an exuberant display of red, white, and blue. Over 600 flags adorn the homes and parkways; iron fences and porch railings are festooned with bunting; pleated fans hang around windows and doors; and parkway trees boast patriotic streamers!

Below you will find information about the special historic flags which are displayed; each flag tells part of the story of America's great history. The residents of the Ninth Street Hill Neighborhood hope your walking tour is both enjoyable and educational! We invite you to carry home the spirit of "A Festooned Fourth" and join your neighborhood with ours as we celebrate America's great patriotic heritage.


101 S. 9th: (Greater Lafayette Museum of Art): 3 flags fly on this grouping of staffs. The American flag which flew over the U.S. Capitol was a gift to the Museum from former U.S. Congressman John Myers and it is flanked by the flag of the State of Indiana, a gift of Representative Sheila Klinker. The third flag is the White Fleur-de-lis flag of France which represents our city's French heritage. Flag experts have documentation of this flag being displayed in French territories in North America in the 17th century. Perhaps a flag like this was in Tippecanoe County years ago!

 

102/104 S. 9th: The Betsy Ross flag was named after its alleged designer. Although its authenticity has often been challenged, this flag has become an American historical legend. Its widespread use today is probably a tribute to 19th century artists who created the circular pattern of stars for popular patriotic paintings.

 

106/108 S. 9th: The Lake Erie flag - During the War of 1812, Captain James Lawrence's dying words were, "Don't give up the ship." Commodore Perry make this his battle cry the following year when he fought the British in the Battle of Lake Erie.

 

122 S. 9th: Hung on this home is a 36-Star flag. Flag etiquette assures us that no American flag is ever “out of date.” Regardless of the number of stars, a flag may always be proudly displayed.

 

202 S. 9th: Displayed on this home is America’s 1976 Bicentennial flag.

 

207 S. 9th: The 44 star flag was the official U.S. flag when this home was built in 1895.

 

212 S. 9th: The New England Flag - In 1775 George Washington's military secretary, Col. Joseph Reed, proposed that all American ships fly the Massachusetts Navy flag. This "Americanized" version of the flag links a regional symbol, a New England pine, with our now familiar national colors.

 

213 S. 9th: The St. George Cross flag represents the first ties to Great Britain in the New World. This flag was carried by early English explorers in North America and the symbol appears in later flags of the American colonies.

 

216 S. 9th: The Bunker Hill flag is probably not the actual flag carried at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The English Cross of St. George still appears in the corner on the flag and symbolizes the colonies' attachment to England.

 

221 S. 9th: The Continental flag was one of many flags the colonists began unfurling during the Revolutionary War. The King's Colors were replaced with a Pine Tree, symbolic of the New England way of life. Historians believe that this banner was carried at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17th, 1775.

 

226 S. 9th: Under the Lions and Castles royal banner of Spain, Christopher Columbus sailed to discover the New World; Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean; Ponce de Leon, Florida; and Magellan sailed around the world for the first time.

 

301 S. 9th: The Ft. Moultrie “Liberty” flag flew over Fort Moultrie in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina during the unsuccessful British attack on June 28, 1776. It became part of the current South Carolina state flag.

 

303/305 S. 9th: Displayed are two 5' x 9.5' Casket flags, purchased new in 2006 for this display. Flag etiquette tells us that any U.S. citizen may have their casket covered with an American flag. Once used to cover a casket, it is appropriate to display that flag at any time.

 

403 S. 9th: The Grand Union was created by super-imposing six white stripes on the British red ensign. This was the first national flag of the United States, properly called the Continental Colors and used from 1775-1777. Also displayed is a Mourning Fan in the traditional purple and black “mourning” colors of the Victorian era. Historically, during patriotic displays, a mourning fan was hung on the home of the family of a fallen soldier. The tradition of displaying “mourning colors” was part of Victorian culture. We imagine these colors may have hung on homes in our neighborhood many years ago.

 

410 S. 9th: The Whiskey Rebellion flag In 1794 the new federal government imposed a tax on whiskey-making. Many Pennsylvania farmers saw the tax as unfair and refused to pay. With an independent frontier spirit, 500 armed and outraged farmers attacked and burned the tax collector’s office. George Washington had to send 12,000 soldiers to put down the rebellion.

 

415 S. 9th: 3 official veterans’ flags of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War are displayed. We also hang one of the parade flags that welcomed home Gulf War soldiers. The somber POW/MIA Flag reminds us of those who still wait for their loved ones. The Veteran's flag was a gift from a couple in Oklahoma who saw our display on the Internet.

 

714 Hitt Street: (walking west from 9th St.) The almost-square Bedford flag was carried by the Bedford Minute Men at the Battle of Concord during the Revolutionary War. The Latin inscription reads, “Conquer or Die.”

 

405 S. 7th: (corner of Hitt and 7th) The Sons of Liberty flag was designed in 1775 by an activist group, led by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, who championed American rights and, ultimately, were responsible for forming the first Continential Congress. This is the first example of the use of the red-and-white stripes in a flag for our new nation.

 

408 S. 7th: (intersecting Hitt St.) The Gadsden flag was one of the first Rattlesnake flags devised by Colonel Gadsden of South Carolina and was flown by the first Continental fleet. The inscription was intended as a warning to the British, meaning it was as dangerous to tread on the colonies as it would be to step on a rattlesnake.

 

400 S. 7th: (corner of 7th & Romig) During the Civil War, many African-Americans served in the Union Army and Navy. The most distinguished and well-known of these units was the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, recently memoralized in the motion picture “GLORY.” Because the 54th exhibited such great bravery under fire at the storming of Fort Wagner in 1863, the Union Army expanded recruitment and training of African-American soldiers. Abraham Lincoln credited their efforts with shortening the war.

 

801 Hitt: The Green Mountain Boys flag was carried on May 10, 1775, as Ethan Allen and a small force of Green Mountain Boys stole silently into the British-held Fort Ticonderoga and demanded its surrender. The captured cannon and mortars were taken that winter across the rugged New England Mountains. Their installation on the heights above Boston enabled Washington to force the British to retreat. Also displayed inside the front window is a rare, originl 49-star flag, a gift to the Association by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Eldridge. This flag was our nation’s banner for only one year: 1959–1960.

 

453 S. 9th: The Philadelphia Light Horse Standard was one of the first flags to carry a design of 13 stripes. This flag acted as an escort to General Washington on his trip from Philadelphia to Cambridge in 1775 to take command of the Continental Army.

 

904 State: The flag of The Citizen Band of the Potawatomi Nation carries a seal that includes a crossed peace pipe and tomahawk, which signifies skill and strength in war, bonded with their strong historical reputation as a peace-loving people. In the center is a “Council Fire” from which they get their name, “People of the Place of the Fire.” The Red Oak tree is also significant: its acorns were a source of food and the leaves were used in their beadwork designs. This flag hangs close to the (now razed) cottage of renowned American painter George Winter, whose paintings and journals documented the lives of the Potawatomi. Also displayed is a 44-star flag, the official U.S. flag when this home was built in 1895.

 

456 S. 9th: The First Navy Jack is a popular variation of the United States ensign which used the rattlesnake. The device was first employed by Benjamin Franklin, along with its well-known warning ~ "Don't Tread On Me."

 

460 S. 9th: This Raven Flag is believed by some to be the first flag to fly in North America. The raven, a symbol of good luck, is documented on the flag carried by Leif Ericsson as he visited Newfoundland c. 1000.

 

907 State: The Culpepper flag was the banner of the Culpepper Minute Men, organized and commanded by Patrick Henry. To the colonists’ warning, “Don’t Tread On Me,” were added Henry’s stirring words, “Liberty or Death,” which were part of his historic speech to the House of Burgesses of the Colony of Virginia in March 1775. Also displayed is a 43-star flag.

 

904 State: This 44-star flag was the official US flag when this home was built in 1895.

 

907 State: The Culpepper Flag was the banner of the Culpepper Minute Men organized and commanded by Patrick Henry. To the colonists' warning, "Don't Tread On Me", were added the stirring words of their commander, "Liberty or Death" which were part of his historic speech to the House of Burgesses of the Colony of Virginia in March, 1775.

 

807 State: Displayed are the two armed services flags, Air Force and Coast Guard, under which the owners of this home each served in WWII.

 

515/517 S. 9th: In the American Revolution, a military unit often had their own unique flag. Reputedly carried at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777 by the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment, this Brandywine Flag was one of the first American banners with both stars and stripes.

 

516 S. 9th: The 48-star flag was the official U.S. flag when this home was built in the 1950s. Many people affectionately call the 48-Star Flag “Old Glory.”

 

520 S. 9th: The Bucks of America was the only all African-American military unit of the Revolutionary War. The "Bucks" were all volunteers and "freemen of color." Their company flag was presented to them personally by General George Washington and Governor of Massachusetts, John Hancock, who both had their initials adorn the flag. The original flag is preserved today at Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

523/525 S. 9th: Displayed from the balcony of this home are the current official flags of the Armed Services of the United States: Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

 

529 S. 9th: Americans celebrated the 1876 Centennial with renewed faith in a nation stretching from Atlantic to Pacific and encouraging invention and industry. This unofficial flag, reflecting patriotic spirit, shows that Old Glory's design has always belonged to the people.

 

532 S. 9th: The Stars and Bars, the first flag of the Confederacy, was adopted in 1861, the same day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated President. While many Southerners favored secession from the Union, they were not so ready to break away from the flag under which their forefathers had fought and under which they had lived and prospered. They retained the colors, the blue canton, and used stars to represent the states.

 

533 S. 9th: The Spanish Cross was flown on the seas and in all the Spanish colonies in America from 1516 until 1785. The jagged cross represents the crossed branches of a fir tree.

534 S. 9th: An 1818 act of Congress established that our flag would have 13 stripes and one star for each state. The Great Star Flag of 1837 represents a common star design used in the 19th century.

 

602 S. 9th: The Star Spangled Banner has 15 stars and 15 stripes and was adopted shortly before the War of 1812. This battered banner inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

 

604 S. 9th: The Bennington flag is the oldest Stars and Stripes in existence. Used at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777, by the Vermont Militia, it was the first flag to lead American Armed Forces on land.

 

605 S. 9th: Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1834, and devised what is now called the Alamo Flag. This was Texas’ flag when 182 men defended the Alamo against the vastly superior forces of Santa Ana for 11 days and nights. We include this flag in our display for historical reference because the Alamo battle occurred within the same year that Lafayette was settled.

 

609 S. 9th: John Paul Jones Flag - After John Paul Jones and the crew of "Bonhomme Richard" captured "HMS Seropis" on September 23, 1779, a Dutch artist painted a watercolor of this flag, which Jones had hoisted in victory. Blue was considered America's prime national color.

 

613 S. 9th: The Guilford Courthouse flag dates to pre-revolutionary times and reflects the freedom with which flag makers interpreted the colors, arrangement, and placement of the stars and stripes.

 

614 S. 9th: During theWar of 1812, patriotic citizens of Easton, Pennsylvania, presented this Easton Flag to the First Regiment of Volunteers. The striped canton and starry field of this design reversed the official placement of the stars and stripes.

 

822 Kossuth: The King's Colors represents the unification of England and Scotland in 1603 under James I. The banner melds the red-on-white cross of St. George and the white-on-blue cross of St. Andrew. This new flag was the banner under which the English colonization of America was begun and remained the flag of the colonists for more than 100 years.

 

714 Kossuth: The Forster Flag was captured from the British by Minutemen on April 19, 1775, the first day of the Revolution. The Minutemen put white stripes on the original canton to represent the 13 colonies, and a new flag was born!

 

 







"A Festooned Fourth" is made possible by the generous donations of local businesses, the citizens of Lafayette, and the Historic Ninth Street Hill Neighborhood Association. Each year, hundreds of dollars are needed to replace faded and weathered flags; and sadly, some flags are vandalized or stolen. We appreciate the community's help in keeping this display alive!

We are deeply grateful to our local American Legion and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). Because of their knowledge, guidance, and support, all aspects of this flag display are in compliance with the United States Flag Code (Public Law 344; 94th Congress; July 6, 1976).

We also thank you for your support of "A Festooned Fourth" and for visiting our historic neighborhood!