Image by Rick Wyatt
Image by Dave Martucci

Flags Divided by People/Country

Flags Divided By Historical Periods

Flags Divided By Topics

Miscellaneous Topics

Other Flag History Websites To Visit
H
I
S
T
O
R
I
C
A
L

F
L
A
G
S

O
F

O
U
R

A
N
C
E
S
T
O
R
S



H
I
S
T
O
R
I
C
A
L

F
L
A
G
S

O
F

O
U
R

A
N
C
E
S
T
O
R
S

Welcome to
Historical Flags of Our Ancestors!

Connecting Flags to their Historical Context

Flags that played their part in North American history

Why Flags, Anyway?

        It has been paraphrased that flags are the shorthand of history. They can be used to "stir men´s souls," to represent our values, both cultural and historical, and to provide both inspiration and fear. They can lead men and women to greatness and disaster. They can bring out the very best in mankind, and the very worst.

"A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole,
It doesn’t look likely to stir a man’s soul;
‘Tis the deeds that were done,
‘neath the moth-eaten rag,
when that pole was a staff and the rag was a flag."

- British General Sir Edward Bruce Hamley (1824-1893)

        This flag database is not meant for the serious vexillologist or scholar, it is rather for the beginning or recreational flag historian. It attempts to connect flags to their historical context, but makes no attempt to cite sources and documentation for its information as any good scholarly flag research should, but instead it attempts rather to begin the process of scholarship by generating a basic interest in vexillology itself.
        The flag identifications here have less to do with the specifics of each flag's design ( We'll leave that to the experts at Flags of the World ), but is rather an attempt to give a little of the history that makes each of the flags unique. Thus, for the vexillologist, this website might be a disappointment, because it is more about the history that was happening while the flags were being used, rather than the flags themselves.

Why These Particular Flags

        This database began as a series of lesson plans about flags developed by a high school history teacher named Pete Loeser for his students. The first lesson was about an area in Poland known as East Prussia, then came England, and these were followed by lessons about different time periods in the United States. The database was meant to support these lesson plans. The Prussia page grew into a Germany page, etc. Then the collection kept growing. As the site grew, vexillologists became interested and helped him improve and build the site, and it just continued to grow. So basically, there is no real logical way to explain why some flags are included and some are not. It basically is just what Pete found or got interested in. Nevertheless, at last count, there are over 2500 historical flags on over 90 pages divided into historical categories or topics, illustrated, and identified in this database.

Giving Credit for Flag Images and Research

         If you desire to use any of the flag images used on this site, we've added an "Artistic Credit & Contact Information" page. (You will find that if you place your cursor over any image on this site the artist's name will be revealed.) Most of the artists just want to be given credit for their excellent creations and give it freely as long as you are not using their work for commercial reasons.
         The research and text is also based largely on the expertise of others, and you may also use it as has been done here, for educational or non-commercial projects.

        Important Note: If an image ever fails to appear - refresh your page - they are all really there, but sometimes fail to load the first time because of computer timeouts.

This website designed by Last update of site was 4/5/2015