Friday, November 13, 2015

American Revolution--2nd Pennsylvania Regimental Flag

I recently featured the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment on my blog (to see it, go to  This unit is one of the few Continental units where the regimental flag is known and linked to that unit.  How?  

Colonel Stewart's portrait
Detail from the portrait
In the background details of Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of Colonel Walter Stewart of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment, the regimental camp can be seen. (1)  Flying in front of a large tent (possibly the colonel’s) is a large flag.  Due to its size and placement in camp, it is the regimental flag rather than a camp flag.  Camp flags “marked the area when in camp.  They were 18in (45cm) square, with poles either 7ft (2.1m) or 9 ft (2.7m) high.” (2)

In this close-up from the recreated 2nd Pennsylvania’s website (3), the flag can be seen with a white ground, a yellowish snake, and a blue scroll below the snake.  This is my recreation of the 2nd Pennsylvania’s flag.  Unfortunately, the picture is much too small to make out any lettering in the blue scroll.  I put “Do Not Tread on Me” because that was a common motto on American flags.  However, the scroll could also contain the unit’s name: “2nd Pennsylvania Regiment.”

If you would like to use this flag for your wargame armies, that is great, but please make sure to credit Defending the Legacy (a link back to this post would be appreciated!)

(2)  pg. 146, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms from 1775-1783 The American Revolutionary War by Digby Smith and Kevin F. Kiley (Lorenz: London, 2010)


  1. Dear Sir
    I am a collector of American Revolutionary 3'x 5'flags In fact I maybe the world recorded holder with 46 Flags flying. Is the 2nd Penn regimental flag available in that size to your knowledge?
    I'd pay what ever price needed as I don't have it in my collection!
    Ken Molzahn

  2. Hello Ken Molzan!

    Thank you for contacting me! It is always nice to meet a fellow enthusiast for American Revolution flags. I wish I could help you with obtaining a physical flag for your collection, but my expertise is limited to flag illustrations.

    However, there is a reenactment unit recreating the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment, and they have reconstructed a full-scale regimental flag exactly like my illustration. They can be contacted through

    I hope that this helps you!

    All the best,