Whiskey Rebellion 3×5 Printed Polyester Flag with Eagle and 13 Stars
This lightweight, fully printed Whiskey Rebellion flag is a reproduction of the flag flown by early Americans standing against what they felt was unfair taxation by their government just a few years after the revolutionary war.
History of the Whiskey Rebellion and the Flag
In 1791, shortly before the ratification of the Bill of Rights, our fledgling nation found itself $54 million in debt resulting from the expenses incurred fighting the Revolutionary War. The need for a source of revenue to pay off the war debt prompted the new government with Alexander Hamilton as Treasury Secretary under President George Washington to impose a tax on all distilled spirits. This was the first-ever tax to be imposed on domestic goods and became known as the “Whiskey Tax”. The idea to tax distilled spirits was seen by many proponents as a “luxury” or “sin tax” and the least objectionable of all goods that could be taxed. The tax, however, was viewed by many veterans of the Revolutionary War as more of the same unfair taxation that they had just recently fought a war to free themselves from. Tax collectors in several states were threatened, intimidated, and even in some cases tarred and feathered by angry mobs of citizens. The Whiskey Tax proved to be very difficult and in some cases impossible to collect because of the threat of violence and outright refusal of some to pay. The height of the rebellion occurred in 1794 in Western Pennsylvania when the home of district excise inspector, John Neville was destroyed by a group of around 600 Rebels. Although Washington resisted the idea of resorting to tyranny, he could not afford to appear weak and unable to make the authority of the new federal government effective. Having no choice but to respond to the rebellion, Washington sent both a reconciliation commission as well as a nearly 13,000 strong army made up of the state militias of Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania that he chose to lead himself. This would be the only time in American history that a sitting president would personally lead an armed force. Facing overwhelming this force, the rebellion collapsed. Many of the leaders were either captured and tried only to be acquitted or migrated west to avoid prosecution. The Whiskey Rebellion flag with its 13 large stars arranged around a majestic looking eagle holding a long red and white striped banner became a symbol of Americans defending themselves. It is unclear who designed the flag, but it is widely agreed that the Whiskey Rebellion flag, albeit shortlived, is one of the most important symbols in our nation’s history as it represents the firey American spirit and the knowledge of Americans that government can never be trusted not to exceed it’s intended authority and should never be allowed to become too large or too powerful. Many revolutionary war symbols and flags have recently been revived to represent resistance to an ever-expanding and overreaching federal government. Although the Whiskey Rebellion was after the American Revolution, the same spirit that stirred the revolution also sparked the Whiskey Rebellion.
Single-ply polyester is a very lightweight material that will fly nicely in the slightest breeze.
- One solid piece of printed, hemmed fabric
- Heavy canvas header with brass grommets
- 4 rows of stitching on the fly end to prevent premature fraying
- Flag size 3’x5′