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N_71_3_9 First Recognition of the American Flag by a Foreign Government, 14 February 1778, painting by Edward Moran, 1898 | by State Archives of North Carolina
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N_71_3_9 First Recognition of the American Flag by a Foreign Government, 14 February 1778, painting by Edward Moran, 1898

First Recognition of the American Flag by a Foreign Government, 14 February 1778.

 

(Ships at Sea-American Revolution)

 

Original painting in oils by Edward Moran, 1898, is in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. An official U.S. Navy Photograph is now in the collections of the National Archives.

   

Comte de Guichen's French ship was among other French ships that saluted the USS Ranger under John Paul Jones in the harbor of Quiberon (13 February 1778). This was essentially the first recognition of the American Flag in the form of the Stars and Stripes by a foreign Government.

 

On February 14, 1778, Captain John Paul Jones and his crew aboard the 18-gun sloop-of-war USS Ranger received the first official 9-gun salute to the American Stars and Stripes flag from a foreign power - the flagship of the French fleet, lead by Admiral Piquet in Quiberon Bay, France.

 

Information to note:

 

France was the only nation to officially recognize the fledgling republic at the time having done so via the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce - both of which had been signed in Paris just eight-days earlier on February 6, 1778.

On June 14, 1777, the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

 

This copy is from the General Negative Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

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Taken on May 31, 2007