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Historical Flags - The British Red Ensign


The British Red Ensign, sometimes called the “Meteor Flag of Old England” was established by Queen Anne in 1707 as the National emblem of Great Britain. It has a red field with the King’s Colorsor Grand Union Flag in the dexter corner as a canton. This was the flag of the British during the French and Indian war of 1754-1759 which was fought to decide whether the British or the French should control the continent of America. This momentous question was decided by the Battle of Quebec when Wolfe’s infantry scaled the rocky heights to the Plains of Abraham and defeated Montcalm. By the treaty of 1763 Great Britain gained control over all of that vast territory of the new world east of the Mississippi River. France ceded that to the west to Spain. The British Red Ensign was the banner of the British troops who opposed Washington’s continentals all through the harrowing days of the American Revolution, and it was under its folds that Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown on that historic October 19, 1781. It was the British Flag of the French and Indian War.