ADVANTAGES

A liberty pole was a large wooden pole, stuck in the ground, to provide a meeting point to air complaints about government policy. The tradition goes back to England, but New York’s liberty poles (a red flag announced that a meeting of the Sons of Liberty was to be held) date to one erected in 1766 to celebrate the withdrawal of the Stamp Act taxes. Throughout the Revolutionary era, pitched battles were sometimes fought as colonial officials endeavored to tear them down, and revolutionary groups restored them. See J. R. Pole and Jack Greene, eds., (Oxford, 2003), 155.

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