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Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty
The Historical Sons of Liberty
The passage of the Stamp Act of 1765 by the British Parliament is recognized as the catalyst of the formation of the Sons of Liberty in Boston. Although the secret organization had branches throughout all the colonies, the most effective of the cells were those operating in the New England colonies. The various groups corresponded with each other and traded ideas on how to resist and change the unpopular British policies. They were known by many names depending on location: Liberty Boys, Sons of Freedom and Free Born Sons of Liberty. They erected Liberty Poles and Liberty Trees and used these as rallying points to discuss current issues and raise awareness among the population in a manner similar to today’s blogs and forums.
The Sons of Liberty professed their loyalty to the government and used public demonstrations and rallies to increase their membership and put pressure on the government to change despised policies. These actions have their parallels in today’s TEA Parties and Townhalls. The Sons of Liberty were among the first to use the motto of “no taxation without representation.” The political powers of the time called them Sons of Violence and Sons of Inequity reminiscent of today’s political leaders calling the current dissenters as un-American brownshirts and Nazi tea-baggers.
Leadership of the Sons of Liberty included Founding Fathers: Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock. The groups were responsible for hangings in effigy, tax protests, and blockades of harbors and piers to prevent unloading of British goods. The Sons of Liberty were the “Indians” behind the Boston Tea Party and the burning of the HMS Gaspee. Eventually the groups became both the Minutemen militias and Committees of Safety during the American Revolution.
They used their vertical, nine striped red and white flag as a way to call meetings by flying their flag on liberty poles. This flag was a deliberate rip-off of the British East India Company’s flag. With the start of the Revolution, they switched to the horizontal, 13 striped red and white flag that eventually morphed into the American flag and honored the 13 colonies. The British and Tories referred to the Sons of Liberty flag as the “rebellious stripes.”
Like our patriotic philosophical ancestors, the Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty are also political activists that are the “loyal opposition” and act to correct our government to return to the Constitution as our forefathers intended…..