With the appearance of the Continental Flag, British emblems were entirely eliminated from the Colonial Banner for the first time. In its original form it has a red field and a plain white canton. At the time there was no distinctive symbol available. A pine tree on a white ground was symbolic of many qualities conspicuous in the lives of our New England ancestors. Simple, austere, and bearing withal a stately dignity, it fittingly expressed the ideas and trends of the times. It proclaimed the patriot’s love for his homeland with its pine-clad hills. And so it was that the pine tree emblem came into general use and one was placed in the canton of the Continental Banner.
It thus became one of the series of the Pine Tree Flags. It is claimed that the Continental Flag with a red field and the pine tree on the white canton, was one of the banners carried by the American troops, who, on that memorable day of June 17, 1775, fought it out with British Regulars on the grassy slopes of Bunker Hill and three times stopped the British charge.