Pine Tree Flag

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PINE TREE FLAG, a colonial flag of Massachusetts, used as early as 1700 and declared the state's official navy flag in 1776. Also one of the earliest symbols of the union of the thirteen colonies, the pine tree was incorporated into the flags of the American revolutionary forces from 1775 to 1777 in various ways, often with the motto "An Appeal to Heaven," and sometimes with the rattlesnake flag of the southern colonies with its motto, "Don't tread on me." The six armed vessels that George Washington commissioned in 1775 flew a pine tree flag, as did two American floating batteries that attacked Boston in September 1775.


Crouthers, David D. Flags of American History. Maplewood, N.J.: C. S. Hammond, 1962.

Guenter, Scot M. The American Flag, 1777–1924: Cultural Shifts from Creation to Codification. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990.

Stanley R.Pillsbury/d. b.

See alsoFlags ; Massachusetts ; Revolution, American: Military History ; State Emblems, Nicknames, Mottos, and Songs .