Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Did Not Know This, Fun Fact Edition

This was something of which I was not previously aware. Americans probably think (as I did before today) that the American flag is a unique design, or at most derived or inspired from something else. But no.  Its pretty much the same flag that has been around since 1599 (on the left).

In case you did not recognize it, thats the flag of theBritish English East India Company, chartered by Queen Liz in 1599. This was the design from that date until 1707, when Scotland and England merged to become the Kingdom of Great Britain. Henceforth, the Company flag looked like the one on the right.  (okay not entirely true, that one includes the cross of St. Patrick, included after 1801). 
If you like counting, feel free to count how many stripes are on that bad boy. Thats right. 13. So much for the "13 stripes for 13 colonies" thing. More like a big convenient coincidence. And yes, this is the same East India Company that was granted the monopoly on tea in the colonies that was the impetus for the famous Boston Tea Party. The early patriots not only stole the Company's tea, they also stole the flag. Burn.                          
"I pledge alliegence to the flag, of the Company of Merchants Trading into the East Indies, and to the Corporation, for which it stands, one entity, by charter of Her Majesty, indivisible, with tea, indigo, and opium for all."

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