The Bedford Flag depicts an armor clad arm defiantly clutching a short sword, with a plume of black powder smoke obscuring the arm’s owner. Cannonballs fly outward to pulverize whatever unfortunate presence the arm is so vehemently brandishing at. Around the sword flutters a banner which reads “VINCE AUT MORIRE” – “CONQUER OR DIE” if you paid enough attention in Catholic school to actually know Latin.
We did not learn Latin in Catholic school. We just learned that crossing a nun is a fine way to have your knuckles caved in with a ruler. We didn’t find out that rulers are actually measuring instruments and not implements of knuckle destruction until freshman year of high school.
Ahem. The Bedford Flag was the very first standard flown by American soldiers. When the British marched on Concord to seize its material following their victory at the Battle of Lexington, the Americans met them just outside of town and absolutely ruined their $#!%. The dirty redcoats weren’t even able to recover their dying and wounded during the Minutemen’s unceasing barrage of musket balls. They ran away shaking like puppies caught in a thunderstorm as the Bedford Flag flapped in the breeze and the smoke.
Vince aut morire indeed.
The Bedford Flag itself fell into absolute obscurity until it was taken out 100 years later to celebrate the centennial of the first American military victory. Today the original sits in the Bedford Free Public Library for all to see. You cannot touch it, let alone use it as socks or a tote bag. That’s where we come in.
Our Bedford Flag collection is a fine way for patriots to celebrate the inaugural American beat down. It’s especially popular among our friends in the Bay State, but any American can appreciate the greatness represented by their nation’s very first symbol.