Schenectady's home for history
We’re excited to present the first event in our local commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of America. Join us on January 12 at noon to raise the Liberty Flag in Schenectady!
SCHS will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the raising of the Liberty Flag in Schenectady. We’ll meet at the Schenectady Historical Museum, and then walk to the corner of Church and Union to relive the raising of the Liberty Flag. We’ll erect a flagpole, raise a replica flag, and enjoy brief remarks on the importance of liberty. Afterwards, attendees are invited inside the First Reformed Church to enjoy refreshments and sign a “liberty board” with discussions of what freedom means to them.
Chris Leonard, City of Schenectady Historian, and Michael Diana, SCHS Historian and Director of Education, explain the significance of the event, and what it commemorates. “What is liberty and what must we do to secure it? These questions have both united and divided Americans throughout history. On the anniversary of the raising of the Liberty Flag, we invite the community to relive that historic moment and reflect on the essential questions of freedom. Indeed, one of Schenectady’s earliest and most significant reckonings with the idea of liberty was on January 12, 1774. On that day, an angry crowd of 50 citizens gathered in the center of town to raise a flag emblazoned with the word “LIBERTY.” This was a hugely confrontational form of protest. Their supporters applauded them as patriots. Their detractors derided them as a riotous mob. But thus did Schenectady enter the bitter controversies of a Revolution that would forge the modern United States of America.”
SCHS owns the only surviving “Liberty” flag from the Revolutionary War.
This event is free and open to the public. As the event is outdoors and will take place in the middle of January, please dress accordingly. This is the first of many events that SCHS will sponsor over the next two years leading up to and beyond the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Please follow https://schenectadyhistorical.org/rev250/ to keep up with events for the city and county.