In the dexter canton is the cross of Prussia on a black, white, and red field. The Russian imperial standard is yellow charged with the double-headed eagle of Constantine the Great, symbolical of the Eastern and Western empires. This emblem was adopted by Ivan I. on his marriage with a princess of the Greek imperial house. On the breast of the eagle, which is black, are emblazoned the ancient arms of Russia, St. George and the dragon, on a red field, now the arms of the city of Moscow. The imperial standard of Austria is yellow also, charged with the double-headed eagle of the Roman empire, but it has an indented border of gold, silver, blue, and black. The Austro-Hungarian national ensign is formed of three equal horizontal bars, the chief red, the middle white, and the base red in the dexter half and green on the fly. The green is added for Hungary, the national colors of which are red, white, and green. The middle bar displays a shield, charged with red, white, and red, surmounted by the imperial crown. The royal standard of Italy is green, white, and red, in equal vertical bars, the red to the fly; on the white are the arms of Savoy surmounted by the crown.
The royal standard of Spain in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella displayed the arms of Castile, Leon, Aragon, the Two Sicilies, and Granada. Under the Bourbons it combined the arms of Castile, Leon, Granada, and the fleurs de lis of Bourbon. The standard fell with the monarchy, and in December, 1873, the republic ordered the removal from the naval ensign of the royal insignia. The royal standard of Portugal is red, charged with the arms and crown. The royal standard of the Netherlands is the same as the merchant flag, with the royal arms on the white bar. The Belgian royal standard is the same as the ensign, with the arms on the yellow division. The ensigns of Sweden and. Norway are formed of the united flags of the two countries. The flag of Sweden is blue with a yellow cross, that of Norway red with a blue cross. The two, combined in the manner of the union jack of Great Britain, are cantoned in the national ensigns. The Danish merchant flag is the same in color and device as the naval ensign, but is rectangular. The same remark applies to the merchant flag of Sweden. The commercial flag of Greece is the same as the naval, omitting the crown on the cross. The royal standard of Greece is blue charged with a white cross, the canton of the ensign.
The crescent and star of Turkey was the device of Diana Byzantina, the patroness of Byzantium, and was hoisted first by Mohammed II., after the capture of Constantinople.-The English colonies in America displayed at first the flag of the mother country, the cross of St. George. In 1636 Endicott, the Puritan governor of Massachusetts, cut the cross out of the banner to show his hatred of Romanism. In 1637 the king's arms were substituted for the obnoxious emblem; but in 1651, the parliament of the commonwealth having revived the old standard of St. George, it was ordered by the general court to be used on all necessary occasions. Various modifications were in use at different times. Sometimes the field was white charged with the cross, sometimes red with the cross cantoned on a white field, and sometimes blue with the cross similarly cantoned; and occasionally a globe or a pine tree was depicted in the upper canton formed by the cross. The flag of New England under Sir Edmund Andros was white charged with St. George's cross, bearing in the centre the letters J. R. (Jacobus Rex) surmounted by the crown. In 1707 the union jack of King James was adopted, and distinctive colonial flags probably went out of use.
In the beginning of the revolution a variety of flags were displayed in the revolted colonies. The union flags mentioned so frequently in the newspapers of 1774 were the ordinary English red ensigns bearing the union jack. These generally bore some patriotic motto, such asLiberty,"Liberty and Property,"Liberty and Union," &C. After the battle of Lexington the Connecticut troops displayed on their standards the arms of the colony with the motto Qui transtulit sustinet; and later, by act of the provincial congress, the regiments were distinguished by the colors of their flags, as, for the 7th blue, for the 8th orange, etc. The early armed ships of New York are said to have displayed a heaver, the device of the seal of New Netherland, on their ensigns. It is uncertain what flag, if any, was used by the Americans at Bunker Hill. That displayed by Putnam on Prospect hill on July 18 following was red, with Qui transtulit sus-tinet on one side, and on the other, An Appeal to Heaven." This last motto was adopted, April 29, 1776, by the provincial congress of Massachusetts as the one to be borne on the flag of the cruisers of that colony,a white flag with a green pine tree." What flag Arnold carried in the expedition to Canada is not known.
The first armed vessels commissioned by Washington sailed under the pine-tree flag. The first republican flag unfurled in the southern states, blue with a white crescent in the upper corner next to the staff, was designed by Col. William Moultrie of Charleston, at the request of the council of safety, and was hoisted on the fortifications of that city in September, 1775. The flag displayed on the E. bas-tion of Fort Sullivan, afterward called Moultrie, on June 28, 1776, was the same, with the word Liberty on it. On the W. bastion waved the flag called the "great union," first raised by Washington at Cambridge, Jan. 2, 177G. This consisted of the 13 alternate red and white stripes of the present flag of the United States, with the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew emblazoned on the blue canton in place of the stars. This flag was carried also by the fleet under command of Commodore Esek Hopkins, when it sailed from the Delaware capes, Feb. 17, 1776. Hopkins had displayed previously a yellow ensign bearing the device of a rattlesnake in the attitude of striking, with the motto "Don't tread on me." This emblem was suggested probably by the cuts displayed at the head of many newspapers of the time, which represented a snake divided into 13 parts, each bearing the abbreviation of a colony, with the motto beneath,Join or Die," typifying the necessity of union.