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Historical Vermont flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2015-05-09 by rick wyatt
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Republic of Vermont

The Vermont Republic was a short-lived semi-independent political entity which was founded by Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys after the expulsion of British troops from what is now the State of Vermont, that is, the mountainous region between Lake Champlain to the west and the Connecticut River to the east. The Battle of  Bennington in 1776 was won by Vermont troops, and although they carried an early version of the S&S Vermonters make a point of stating that Bennington fell to independent Vermont troops and not to American ones, and a similar claim is often made (by Vermonters!) regarding the British defeat at Fort Ticonderoga. Vermont makes much of the fact that along with Texas and California Vermont entered the Union voluntarily as a sovereign state. The flag of the Green Mountain Boys can be seen below:
Ron Lahav

The Republic of New Connecticut was proclaimed on 15 January 1777 and was renamed the Republic of Vermont on 4 June 1777. It lasted until 4 March 1791 when Vermont entered the Union. There are references to flags but no descriptions. The seal embodied in the Constitution of 1777 (the design of which is still in use today) was cut in 1779 by Ira Allen (Ethan's brother I believe) and shows a cow, four wheat sheaves, a fleur-di-lis spearhead, a forest of pine trees and a larger pine tree with 14 branches. Obviously they were interested in being the 14th State even during the period of the republic. It has been suggested by some, without any corroborating evidence, that this seal was the basis for the flag of the republic.
Dave Martucci, 15 November 1996

Historical flags

[1804 Flag of Vermont] image by Paige Herring, 29 August 1998
1 May 1804 - 20 October 1837

Vermont entered the union as the fourteenth state in 1791, but did not adopt a flag until 1 May 1804, coinciding with the admission of the seventeenth state. This flag was designed to reflect the appropriate Federal flag change that should have occurred, namely seventeen stars and seventeen stripes. That flag also placed the name of the flag along the upper edge. However, the United States flag remained unchanged with fifteen stars and stripes.
Paige Herring, 29 August 1998

[1837 Flag of Vermont-8 pt] image by Paige Herring, 29 August 1998
20 October 1837 - 1 June 1923 (Eight Points)

[1837 Flag of Vermont-5 pt] image by Paige Herring, 29 August 1998
20 October 1837 - 1 June 1923 (Five Points)

On 20 October 1837, Vermont changed its flag. The flag was to have the basic layout of the national flag with its thirteen red and white stripes and a blue canton. This flag, produced in at least two variants, had a star in the canton. The star was reproduced with both eight points and five points; however, based upon this writer's research it seems that the eight-pointed star was slightly more common. The coat of arms or seal was placed upon the star. This flag remained the flag of Vermont until 1 June 1923.
Paige Herring, 29 August 1998

I would be very curious as to any Vermont flags that predate 1804. The region of Vermont was disputed between New York and New Hampshire during the colonial period. During the Revolutionary War, I think, the inhabitants of the area began to govern themselves. I believe the famous "Green Mountain Boys" who fought the British during the American Revolution were loyal to this government. Though the other colonies/states, and the U.S. govt. under the Articles of Confederation did not recognize the new entity, Vermont functioned as a de facto independent state for almost a decade, issuing its own stamps, for instance. It's admission to the union as a separate state in 1791 represented the working out of one of the last inter-state disputes east of the Appalachians.
Josh Fruhlinger, 29 August 1998

Josh's information on Vermont's revolutionary history is correct. Vermont could not be admitted as a member State of the U.S. until the other States claiming its territory relinquished their claims and recognized Vermont's independence. Massachusetts did so in 1781 and New Hampshire in 1782. New York held out for some time, but finally relinquished its claim to Vermont in 1790, following which Vermont was admitted as a member of the union as of 4 March 1791.
I have never seen any information regarding a Vermont flag during its period of independence.
Devereaux Cannon, 30 August 1998