Photos by Frankie Saint

By William Tauro

The annual celebration of America’s first flag raising was celebrated by City and State officials, residents, and “George Washington” on horseback.

After having to be cancelled due to extreme cold, Somerville’s annual Grand Union Flag Raising took place better than ever this past Sunday morning.

The event kicked off with a procession form City Hall to Prospect Hill Tower, followed by a reenactment ceremony for the 242nd anniversary of the “Grand Union” flag-raising ceremony at Prospect Hill Park.

A processional led by a re-enactor portraying General George Washington on horseback left from the City Hall Concourse at 11:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony at Prospect Hill at noon.

As always, members of the public were invited to participate, and were encouraged to wear traditional colonial clothing. The annual ceremony commemorates the raising of the nation’s first official flag, featuring thirteen red and white horizontal stripes, atop Prospect Hill on New Year’s Day, 1776.

At the time, Prospect Hill was a key site in a string of fortifications created by Washington and the Continental Army in their siege of British troops in Boston during the first year of the American Revolution.

The afternoon’s program included songs, and remarks by participants from the Charlestown and Rhode Island Militia, and the Ancient and Honorable Company (first chartered in 1638). His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, representing the British Army, will bring a message from King George III.

Light refreshments were served, and miniature replicas of the Grand Union Flag, both as a flag and a lapel pin, as well as colonial-era tri corner hats and a few items highlighting the City’s historic assets were available for purchase.

The Tower was also open to the public following the ceremony.

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