Somerville to celebrate nation's first flag-raising on New Year's Day - Metro US

Somerville to celebrate nation’s first flag-raising on New Year’s Day

Prospect Hill Tower in Somerville.
Eric Kilby / Flickr Creative Commons

Somerville will start the new year with a historical celebration to mark the first official flag-raising in the nation.

On New Year’s Day, the city will honor the 241st anniversary of George Washington raising the “Grand Union” flag on Prospect Hill — the country’s first flag.

That flag had 13 red and white horizontal stripes and a British “Union Jack” in the corner, where the stars are seen today.

A Washington re-enactor will be present at the Jan. 1 event toride on horseback at 11:30 a.m. from Somerville City Hall to Prospect Hill.

The city is encouraging anyone who wants to participate to wear traditional colonial clothing. The ceremony at Prospect Hill beginsat noon and is free to the public.

The Ancient and Honorable Company (representing the British army) and the American Legion Post 19 Honor Guard along with historical re-enactors posing as militia will lead a military salute as the flag is raised on top of the Prospect Hill Tower.

Prospect Hill was an important fortification site for Washington and his armyduring the first year of the Revolutionary War. The tower, which was built in 1903 as a memorial to the troops who camped there, will be open to the public after the ceremony.

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