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Somerville to kick off 2014 with 'Grand Union' flag-raising

Posted by Brock Parker  December 24, 2013 10:58 AM

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Somerville will kick off the new year next Wednesday with the 238th annual “Grand Union” flag-raising ceremony at Prospect Hill Park.

The annual ceremony that commemorates the raising of the nation’s first official flag, featuring 13 red and white horizontal stripes, atop Prospect Hill on New Year’s Day in 1776.

At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, an actor portraying General George Washington will leave Somerville City Hall on horseback and lead a procession at Prospect Hill Park, where the ceremony will be held at noon.

The park just north of Union Square was one of a string of fortifications created by Washington and the Continental Army during their siege of British troops in Boston during the first year of the American Revolutionary War.

This year’s ceremony will also include a historical presentation by Byron DeLear of the North American Vexillological Association, who will discuss the discovery of evidence that the name “United States of America” was written in George Washington’s headquarters in Cambridge following the Prospect Hill ceremony that raised the flag.

The ceremony will also feature songs, readings and actors portraying His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, who will represent the British Army. The American Legion Post 19 Honor Guard will also lead a military salute as a commemorative flag is raised atop the Prospect Hill Tower.

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