United is Our First Name

In a list of sovereign nations, the U.S. and the UK are listed together under U.

John Hartvigsen

If our nation’s full name is United States of America, then our first name is United, and that name stretches all the way back to the Declaration of Independence. However, the idea of forming a union goes back to 1607 when England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801 the British parliament added Ireland to their union creating the United Kingdom, and so Britain’s fist name is United just like ours.

Britain’s Union Jack dated from 1606 , when King Kames IV of Scotland became King James I of England, but it was a union of crown that became a political union the following year.

The idea of union runs much deeper than just the word, and Colonists saw the idea symbolized with the Union Jack and numerous other British Flags. It is no wonder they found the concept of union a good idea.

At first, colonial resistance against parliament’s acts that they considered “intolerable” took place colony by colony. However, at Maryland’s insistence, delegates of the First Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia. Not a legislative body at first, this was a gathering where delegates could share concerns, ideas and plans that united their efforts. The word congress came from Latin com “with, together” and grati “to walk.” Delegates from thirteen colonies would walk together through war to create an independent nation made possible by a united effort.

The beginning of the Declaration of Independence’s first page declares our nation’s name as the United State of America.

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