Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Real Easton Flag

There is a claim on the Nets (h/t to JSBlog) that there is such an entity known as "The Easton Flag" created in a hamlet in Pennsylvania! Balderdash! There is only ONE Easton Flag and it is reproduced here:

This flag has an interesting history. It was created on the Eastern Shore of Maryland by the mistress of Tench (Tenchmouth) Tilghman during the "War" of 1812 (locally known as the Second Surge of the Brits.) You will notice that there are 50 crabs in the blue field. Apparently Tench's mistress, who was known as "SheCrab," had the ability to look into the future and as colonies states were added, so magically did the number of crabs increase. I did not know that flags were part of heraldry but, indeed, the design of the American Flag is under the aegis of the Quartermaster Heraldic Section & The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry. Crabs are, of course found in heraldry:
Crabs, Crawfish, Lobsters
In English heraldry the lobster is not found, but lobster claws occur. Lobsters are also rare in continental heraldry, but crawfish (ecrevisses in French) and crabs are more common. They are usually shown in pale. Confusion often arises as to which animal is being depicted, so that blazons sometimes name the charge crab, crawfish, lobster or even scorpion.
Crab of Robslaw (Scotland): Azure a chevron argent between two fleurs-de-lis in chief and a crab in base or.
Crabbe (Flanders): Azure a crab or.
Crabben (Holland): Argent three crabs in fess gules, 2 and 1.
Krebser (Switzerland): Argent three crawfish gules.
Krebsberg (Franconia): Or a crawfish in pale gules issuant from water in base vert.
In any case, the Easton Flag [<-real] was carried by the valiant troops under Captain Tilghman particularly at the battle of Fell's Point in Baltimore where the Brits laid siege to Fort Bertha's Mussels. Most importantly, Tench's troops rallied at Obrycki's Crab House:

..accounting for the appearance of said crustacean on a field azure. The results of the battle, unfortunately, did not go well with the valiant Tench and historians have described it as "another Culloden."

I'm not sure. In any case, the REAL Easton flag has been kept in a bar in St. Michael's and is displayed every July at various Crab feasts from the tip of Tilghman Island all the way to Easton.

There are also other flags that should be noted. In particular we have JSBlog's contribution based on the Wipple Flag:

This is an interesting design but I detect a certain influence of AIPAC (not to be confused with AIG). Probably unintentional.

Finally, the most recent American Flag has been updated to jive with our national obsession.

Please note that the newest Flag has a flat plasma screen that is linked directly to the cultural barometer at Fox News. Plans are in the final stages to include an iPod hook up so that appropriate trash music can be included. There will eventually be the ability to text directly onto the strips.


Ray Girvan said...

Of related interest: Heraldry of Fish, Thomas Moule, 1842.

Felix Grant said...

[big grin]

Is this post not 100 days late?

Or, alternatively, 264 days early?


Julie Heyward said...

Hmmm ....

[*pondering the idea of crab-spangled underpants*]

Anonymous said...

What an ignorant soul. The flag you are ignoring is the City of Easton (PA) historic US flag. The original is on display in the Easton Public Library and has been dated to 1776. It was recognized by the US postal service in 2000 as an official historic US flag - only they date it as 1814 and not 1776. They were carbon dating the fibers to see if they could determine a more specific date or origin.
To educate the fine Dr.C., Easton Pa was one of the original 3 sites the Declaration was read publicly in 1776. There are drawings showing the reading on the steps of the courtahouse with the Original Easton flag in the background. So poppeycock on your balderdash.
FYI - there are many Cities called Easton in the United States. Yours is not as special as you think.
Obviously you are not a Dr. in any history field - maybe literature?