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Cover for Sussex County  Historical Society - NJ
Sussex County  Historical Society - NJ

Sussex County Historical Society - NJ

Sussex County County Historical Society, Hill Museum
82 Main Street
Newton, NJ 07860


Today in #NJhistory: #OTD, June 8, 1753 Sussex County was formed from a portion of Morris County. Sussex County at this time encompassed present-day Sussex and Warren Counties and was composed of Walpack Township, Greenwich Township, Hardwick Township, and Newtown Township. It was named after County Sussex, England. Map published by Carlos Allen, M.D., Publisher, 1860. Source: Library of Congress. #SpreadTheHistory ... See MoreSee Less
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A UNIQUE REVOLUTIONARY WAR ERA FLAG By Wayne T. McCabe, History Columnist The Sussex County Historical Society is the proud owner of a Revolutionary War era flag that was donated to the Society in the early 1960’s. The flag is considered to be one of the most prized artifacts in the Society’s collection. The Society believes that, with the upcoming celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolutionary War, it is appropriate to bring the flag again to the attention of the public. This flag, which measures 127 inches in width by 57 inches in height, has been professionally curated, mounted and framed as a part of the Society’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Hill Memorial Building. The flag is made entirely of linen, including the sewing threads. The entire body of the flag is white and appears to have never been dyed. There are thirteen blue six-pointed stars in the top left corner. The stars, which appear to be done by a less experienced individual, are arranged in a 3-2-3-2-3 pattern, representing the original 13 colonies. The field (canton) that the stars are sewn onto runs the entire height of the flag instead of some of the stripes running the entire width of the flag beneath the canton. There are also only eleven stripes, differentiated by the fineness and direction of the weave of the linen. The Curator of Textiles at Saint John the Devine Cathedral in New York City noted that the entire flag is hand-sewn with extremely fine stitches, indicating the work having been executed by a very experienced seamstress in the late 18th century. The left side of the flag has three button holes that would have been used to hang the flag. While the work on the body of the flag was done by a very experienced seamstress, the work on the stars shows the work of a young lady just starting to learn the trade. There are many elements of this flag that are unique: the blue stars on an all-white flag, thirteen stars but only eleven stripes, and the height of the field the stars are on in comparison to how the stars are arranged. Many of these elements point to the flag being an early American flag. The six-pointed stars were used in some of the first American flags but also appear on flags through the early 19th century. The 3-2-3-2-3 spacing is very common for thirteen star flags. The significance of the eleven stripes has been the subject of considerable discussion. It is now believed that the eleven stripes represent the first eleven states to formally ratify the new Constitution of the United States. Once New York became the 11th state to ratify the Constitution on July 26, 1788, the Congress established under the Articles of Confederation determined that those 11 states should send their senators and members of the House of Representatives to New York to formally establish the Congress under the new Constitution. These representatives first met in formal session on March 4, 1789. North Carolina became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution on November 21, 1789, and on May 29, 1790 Rhode Island was the last state to vote for ratification. It is now believed that the Society’s flag would have been made between the time North Carolina and New York ratified the Constitution – a period of roughly 16 months between 1788 and 1789. The conservation and appropriate mounting of this flag was made possible through funding from the following organizations and individuals: a grant from the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council; donations in memory of JoEllen Livick; a donation made by the Col. John Rosenkrans Chapter NJSSAR; a donation made by the Lt. Charles A. Meyer – American Legion Post 86, Newton, New Jersey; and, the Sussex County Historical Society. The eleven stripe American flag following professional conservation, mounting and framing that is on permanent display at the Sussex County Historical Society in Newton. ... See MoreSee Less
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