The First Flag Raising at an American Public School 1812
FES Title: Flag Raising over School House Catamount Hill Franklin County – Mass. Flag Raised – May 1812
Alternate Titles: 1st U.S. Flag Raising Before a Public School – May 1812 –
Date: 09/1940
Size: 33″H x 41″W
Medium: oil-on-canvas
Type: subject painting
Published: du Pont Safety Calendar. Wilmington, DE: E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., 1941: June.
caption: The First Flag Raising at an American Public School 1812

The Historical and Art Significance of the Twelve Paintings Selected for the DuPont Safety Calendar of 1941. Wilmington, DE: E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., 1940: n.p.
caption: The First Flag-raising at an American Public School 1812

Inscription: lr: Frank E. Schoonover / 1940
Annotations: en verso: No – 2261 – / First U.S. Flag / Raised before a public School / May – 1812. on / Catamount HIll / Near Colrain / Mass. // Painted by / Frank E. Schoonover / Bushkill, PA. Sep. 1940
Exhibitions: 1950 Catamount Hill (title unverified); 1967 Gift Horse
Comments: TP 3/28/02; redo 6-20-07 ; Form 11/4/02; indehe artist also made a sketch of this painting, approximately 14″ x 18″.
Mr. Amasa Shippee, a prominent local politician at that time, initiated the idea to make the flag for the school. His wife, Roda Shippee, made and furnished the white cloth and Lois, wife of Reuben Shippee, provided the blue cloth. The women then made the flag in Amasa’s home. (day books, archives)
In the picture, Mr. Shippee is the man in the plum colored coat and the preacher is dressed in black. (du Pont Calendar explanation under the calendar picture)
Commentary: On May 1812, a new flag was raised over the school house on Catamount Hill, Franklin County, Massachusetts making the school the first in the area to raise and fly the American flag with fifteen stripes and fifteen stars. Schoonover, his wife and daughter attended the re-enactment of this occasion in September 1940, in preparation for his commission to capture the import of the event for the 1941 Du Pont Safety Calendar.

After his visit, the artist wrote about that re-enactment: “I really had a thrilling time with the people…It was a great thing to actually stand on the exact spot where the small schoolhouse once housed the children of the hill…to see the spring and see the rocky hills that almost surrounded the building. I could visualize it all and I believe the result will be accepted as factual.” (archives)

Provenance: Commissioned by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware; sold by artist to private collection; descended in family to private collection
Current Owner: