2nd New Hampshire Regiment

2nd New Hampshire Regiment

Texas 144.1

Regular price $10.00 Sale

The 2nd New Hampshire Regiment (Buff) Flag

£30.18.9 – 30 Pounds, 18 Shillings, and 9 Pence. Very few flags of the American Revolution come to us with a price tag, let alone a clear origin. Most often, flags of the era were constructed privately and simply.  Rarely do we have the historical details available to know how they came to be.  The flag on our patch of the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, however, has a more detailed and interesting life than most flags of that time period.

Today, we take for granted being able to order a flag from an online retailer for just a few dollars. Made of nylon and screen printed, most flag reproductions aren’t fit for outdoor use, let alone going to battle.  In this case, the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment (Buff) Flag was essentially a work of art, one two flags made by hand in April of 1777 by local craftsmen and of robust and precious material – both had to stand up to battlefield conditions and represent an emerging nation. Flags like these took time to create and their imagery was very intentional. Note that £30.18.9 would be around $5,100 or about $2,550 for each flag. $5,100 is a hefty price tag for flags that unfortunately didn’t survive long in American hands! However, the loss of the flags did not deter the men of the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment. The remaining men of the regiment ultimately contributed significantly to the surrender of British General John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga in the fall of 1777.

The flags’ materials and construction were paid for by the New Hampshire Committee of Safety.  However, the only reason the Committee of Safety paid for them was because the regiment's colonel that traditionally paid for the flags of a regiment, Colonel Nathan Hale (not the famous Nathan Hale hanged as a spy), was rumored to have died not long after the Siege of Ticonderoga. Hale and the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment had been ordered to provide rear guard support near Hubbardton, Vermont as the Americans retreated from Ticonderoga to different locations in early July of 1777.  The Regiment and other American forces were unsuccessful in their bid to defend against the British at Hubbardton; many were captured by the British, including Colonel Hale who had not yet paid the bill for the flags. Thinking that Hale had passed away in battle and with the regiment having been decimated at Hubbardton, the flag maker, Nathan Blodget, who was also injured at Hubbardton, sent a dispatch to the Committee of Safety for payment and they promptly did so.

Mr. Blodget’s receipt of the supplies and materials turned in for reimbursement give us an idea of the craftsmanship and care that went into the flags he created for the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment.  Four yards of blue and buff taffeta were purchased in addition to one and a quarter yards of Persian silk.  Taffeta is considered a high-end fabric that was used in ball-room dresses, wedding dresses, and curtains. Given the smaller amount of silk purchased, it is thought that the silk was probably not used in the flag itself but rather as a liner for the container or box in which they rested.  The “buff” or pale yellow color of the flag was deliberate, meant to represent the color of buffalo or oxen leather which was known to be very tough and durable.  In the center were thirteen gold, interlocking rings with the names of the colonies and the phrase “We Are One” in the center, an image created by Benjamin Franklin.  This symbolism isn’t hard to grasp – thirteen independent states all forming one bond and inseparable from each other.

The 2nd New Hampshire Regiment had been stretched thin from its service near Boston in 1775 and 1776 but was reorganized in early 1777 and pressed into service at Fort Ticonderoga by the summer of 1777 where these new flags resided with the regiment.  The Americans were still getting their footing in the war’s early days and when the British laid siege to the fort, the American General St. Clair wisely ordered a retreat and the Americans scattered.  The exodus from Ticonderoga was hasty and copious amounts of supplies were scuttled, set alight, or simply abandoned by the several colonial forces and then captured by the British.  Among the supplies they relieved the Americans of were the flags of the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment.  Because it was early in the war and with the British feeling they had the upper hand in the campaign, the flags weren’t torn apart or used for medical or field purposes as later became a routine. That they weren’t taken in battle but found in their protective, silk lined box may have helped bring them to the attention of the British Army leadership and who gave them more care.  Sure enough, shortly after their capture, the flags were sent to England by the British Army Ninth Regiment’s Lieutenant Colonel John Hill who eventually passed them to his descendants.  In 1912, New Hampshire philanthropist Edward Tuck purchased the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment’s flags from Hill’s descendants and donated them to the New Hampshire Historical Society.

The flag represented on our patch is one of the very few Revolutionary War flags still in existence today.  That it has stood the test of time is indeed a testament to the standard it was meant to represent – durability and resilience. Add our 2nd New Hampshire Regiment flag patch to your collection to remember the endurance of the patriots who gave so much for the cause of liberty.
  • 3x2.75"
  • Woven
  • Hook Backing
  • Release: 01/07/2021