Celebrate Somerville’s 175th Flag Day at the Site of the Nation’s First Flag Raising

Two events honoring the Grand Union Flag and Somerville’s history planned for June 17
SOMERVILLE – Did you know? Recent research by historian Byron DeLear has discovered that the Grand Union Flag, first flown atop Somerville’s Prospect Hill in 1776, was not just the first flag of the united colonies, but the first flag of the United States? Join the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and Historic Somerville on Saturday, June 17 to hear DeLear present his findings about the Grand Union Flag and Somerville’s role in the Revolutionary War era. This will also be an opportunity to climb to the top of Prospect Hill Tower and appreciate the incredible views of Somerville, Boston and Cambridge.


On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, everyone is welcome to join the City and DeLear for docent-led tours of Prospect Hill Tower, enjoy colonial-era music, and light refreshments. Participants are also invited to visit the 175th Anniversary “Story Booth” to share your favorite memory or your favorite thing about Somerville. We’ll be gathering stories, photos, and memories all year long to create a memory book and gallery for our archives as part of the ongoing 175th Anniversary celebrations.



About Byron DeLear

Byron DeLear is a speaker with a broad background in a variety of fields. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston before becoming a media producer in the entertainment industry, working for 20th Century Fox. He now designs and administers clean-energy programs in the Midwest including the nationally recognized Set the PACE St. Louis program. DeLear has also found time to work as the Editor in Chief of the North American Vexillogical Association (NAVA), the primary organization for the scientific and scholarly study of flags.


Docent-led tours of the Prospect Hill Tower are part of a program now offered thanks to recent renovations with Community Preservation Act Funding.


Individuals with disabilities who need alternative means for experiencing the Tower, auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville, or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator at 617-625-6600 ext. 2250, or email NBacci@somervillema.gov.


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