First Pennsylvania Regiment (1st PA Rifles)
“I will not be dominated.” This is the English translation of the Latin words Dominari Nolo presented on a scroll, curiously adorned with split-tongue ends, below the scene on the flag of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. As the observer surveys the image and ponders those words, he or she might ask the question – “Which of the beings here is evoking that phrase?” Is it the nearly caught tiger which won’t be tamed, partially ensnared in a net, or is it the hunter about to spear the tiger who will no longer be prey to the wild animal? Which is first to act – the pouncing tiger or the thrusting hunter? The imagery on the flag is simple yet thought provoking as one considers the primal instincts at play. One of them will conquer the other in the end, one of them will not be dominated.
The 1st Pennsylvania Regiment was initially formed in June of 1775, just shortly after the Battles of Lexington and Concord which battles set up the beginning of formal revolutionary hostilities. Events in general moved slower then but to have a company organized and raised by June that summer was actually quite rapid, especially in so organized a fashion as the 1st PA Regiment was. The Regiment was quickly employed in the siege of Boston that same summer until they assisted in the campaign against the British in the late winter of 1776 in New York.
At its inception, the regiment was known as ‘Thompson’s Rifle Regiment’ commanded by Col. William Thompson of Carlisle, Pennsylvania and later in 1777 was renamed the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. The initial, informal name tends to explain the lettering on the flag “P.M. I. R.” with subscripts, the initials meaning “Pennsylvania Militia, 1st Regiment”.
The flag itself was likely not created until early 1776 when General George Washington gave orders that “…every Regiment should be furnished with Colours, and that those Colours should, if it can be done, bear some kind of similitude to the Uniform of the regiment to which they belong… The Number of the Regiment is to be mark’d on the Colours, and such a Motto, as the Colonel may choose, in fixing upon which, the General advises a Consultation amongst them.”
By the time of the order from Washington, the unit had become a formal continental army component also going by the name 1st Continental Regiment. Thus the flag of the 1st PA Regiment created in 1776 was a tribute to its origin as a militia in 1775 which was very “well regulated” and now faithfully employed in the service of colonies striving to earn independence.
Add our 1st Pennsylvania Regiment patch to your collection to remind others of your inability to be dominated. In doing so, you also pay homage to the 1st PA Riflemen who hearkened to the call to professionally and honorably serve their country.
- Woven for amazing clarity
- Hook backing
- Remaster Release: TBD
We built this flag off a remnant image of the actual flag (found here) and the description of the flag (above).