Westmoreland County Flag

Westmoreland County Flag

The "Rattlesnake Flag"

On May 16, 1775, settlers in Western Pennsylvania gathered at a tavern, which also served as the courthouse in Hanna’s Town, present day Hannastown. The rebellious young group lined up and signed their names to what became known as the Hanna’s Town Resolves. A declaration agreeing to bind themselves together and to take up arms, if necessary to resist further “tyrannical “ acts of Parliament and King George III. 

Our traditions hold that the flag was made by 17-year old Elizabeth Craig, daughter of Samuel Craig, Sr. of New Alexandria, it is actually a combination of two flags in one. First and foremost, it is a British flag known as a “red ensign.” Flown over British naval ships and fortifications, it would have been a common sight throughout British North America. 

The flag measured seventy-six inches and made of heavy red silk. The upper left quarter is occupied by the Union Jack, with its white Cross of St. Andrew for Scotland, and red Cross of St. George for England. The retention of the British symbol on the flag indicates that the inhabitants of Westmoreland County, although ready to resist the tyrannical acts of the British parliament, still considered themselves loyal subjects of King George III. 

The design is strongly suggestive of the independent spirit that animated the sturdy back-woodsmen of the New Alexandria and vicinity. In the center of the field is the rattlesnake, coiled to strike the Union  Jack. 

The snake’s thirteen rattles signify the American colonies. Above the snake is the monogram of John Proctor and the letters, “I.B.W.C.P”, Independent Battalion, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania or Provincials.

 Source:  https://newalexpa.org/borough-hall/history/rattlesnake-flag