Bunker Hill Day - Parades, Flags, and Re-enactment Groups

by Cynthia ONeal

Bunker Hill Day marks the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place on June 17, 1775 in the Boston Harbor of Massachusetts. Every year on June 17th, The Battle of Bunker Hill, also known as the Battle of Breed’s Hill, is commemorated because it was the initial start of the Siege of Boston and the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War that ultimately led to American Independence. A range of events are held each year in observance of Bunker Hill Day, including the famous Bunker Hill Day parade in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Families have been enjoying the Bunker Hill Day parade, a tradition since 1786. Various groups participate in the traditionally long-standing parade including: local marching bands, live musical groups, current and former military members, re-enactment groups, fire trucks and police motorcycles, and locally sponsored floats. Many people also visit the Bunker Hill Monument or other historic sites on the Boston Freedom Trail. Other festivities include a range of organized events at historic sites and museums that feature re-enactments of historical events, displays of Native American life, demonstrations of Colonial life, and live music performances.

It is unclear when Bunker Hill Day was first officially observed, however, records dating back to 1863 show it was observed in the United States. Current and past American flags are widely displayed on Bunker Hill Day including the Bunker Hill flag. The Bunker Hill Flag is one of the first known colonial flags that arose as they sought to separate themselves from the British Empire. The flag was first flown at the Battle of Bunker Hill, while it still contained St. George's cross in the canton, the color of the field was changed to blue. It was also one of the first American flags to include the Pine Tree, which would become a lasting symbol of New England and was used on many patriot flags during the Revolution.


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