North Carolina Battle Flag, Yellow Letters
The left part of this flag represents certain historic events in North Carolina.
May 20, 1775. This represented the “Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence,” claimed by some to be the first declaration of independence made in the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution. After the Boston Tea Party, Britain closed the Port of Boston. On May 19th, 1775, the elected representatives of Mecklenburg County met at the courthouse in Charlotte and began discussing what to do regarding what had happened. On the same day an express rider arrived with news of the battles of Lexington and Concord. After hearing that British soldiers had killed and wounded fellow British citizens, the discussions swiftly became more intense, resulting in five resolutions that make up the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. It was not called a declaration at the time, but was a resolution of the citizens of Mecklenburg County. It was to be sent to the North Carolina representatives at the Continental Congress, declaring the fact that they had separated themselves. The citizens of Mecklenburg stated that Great Britain had “wantonly trampled on our rights and liberties and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington” and that we “dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother country” and declare ourselves “a free and independent people.”
April 12, 1776, North Carolina’s Provincial Congress authorized its delegates to the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence from Great Britain. The first formal call for American sovereignty, the “Halifax Resolves External” not only guided North Carolina representatives, but also encouraged the Continental Congress to champion independence. Virginia directed its delegates to submit a resolution for independence. Richard Henry Lee introduced such a resolution on June 7, 1776, stating that the colonies “are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”
As North Carolina led the charge against the British and a tyrannical government, history was to repeat itself. North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861 becoming the 10th state to join the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. Although this date is not noted on this flag design, May 20th 1861 is a significant historical date for North Carolina’s history.
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