Spend any time in the United States and you will immediately learn that Americans have a very patriotic attachment to the American flag and national anthem. Do you the history of when the Stars and Stripes was officially recognized by a foreign power? And did you know that it happened in Brittany, France?
On this day on February 14, 1778, French Admiral de La Motte-Picquet's fleet was anchored in the bay of Quiberon in Brittany. The French Royal Navy was guarding its strategic port of Lorient and fishing and trading ships in the area faced with growing English threats.
Also in the area was the USS Ranger, an American sloop of war armed with 18 guns, commanded by John Paul Jones. Jones had been aggressively hunting English ships along the coasts of Brittany and then receiving resupplying assistance in Breton ports.. That day, the USS Ranger sailed from Quiberon with a flag with red and white stripes on her stern, adorned with 13 stars on a blue background. This was the new star-spangled banner, the Stars and Stripes, which the young American nation had adopted on June 14, 1777.
At the site of the French fleet the USS Ranger fired a salute of thirteen cannon shots, as many as the number of US states. Admiral La Motte-Picquet, aboard the Robuste, a 74-gun vessel, responded with nine shots, the regulatory figure at the time for an independent republic. In doing so, he officially recognizes the United States of America. It is the first time that the American flag has been entitled to the military honors from another country.
The symbolic event was larger relayed across Europe and greatly angered the British crown. This salute at sea from a French ship, however, had the effect of recognizing the independence of the United States by France.
On March 20, 1778, Benjamin Franklin, one of the drafters of the United States Declaration of Independence, who landed a few months earlier in the port of Saint-Goustan, in Auray, was received by Louis XVI. The king agrees to offer him the official support of France and announces his entry into war against the English, alongside the Americans.
is an organization established to create, facilitate, promote, and sponsor wide-ranging innovative and collaborative cultural and economic projects that strengthen and foster relations and cooperation between the United States of America and the region of Brittany, France.