Happy Fourth of July from Warton, Lancashire!

american-flag-st-oswalds-church-warton-lancashire (Image: Karl and Ali, cc-sa-3.0)

American Independence Day isn’t traditionally celebrated in the UK. But in the small Lancashire village of Warton in north-west England, the Star-Spangled Banner flies with pride every Fourth of July.

Steeped in history and recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, the village is said to have been home to the ancestors of George Washington, the first President of the United States.

Washington’s ancestor of seven generations, Lawrence Washington, arrived at Warton around 1300. Lawrence’s great grandson is rumoured to have helped build the clock tower of the village church, St Oswald’s.

american-flag-pub-warton-lancashire (Image: Karl and Ali, cc-sa-3.0)

The Washington coat of arms, three mullets and two bars, can be seen inside the church and is alleged to have inspired the design of the American Flag (another example of which also flies outside the village pub – the George Washington!).

The Stars and Stripes that fly from St Oswald’s every July 4 was donated to the village by US soldiers fighting in Europe during World War Two.

When they returned to the United States, the soldiers reportedly contacted their state senators regarding the birthplace of the Washington family.

US-Capitol-Washington DC (Image: US Federal Government, public domain)

The flag that was donated had previously flown above the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (the design of which was partially credited to a Yorkshireman, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, from Leeds).

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