Of course we Europeans are naive. I, however, like to think that I am different. This is because I have had explained to me by very erudite American friends that their Constitution is gravely and radically flawed; and that their 'Founding Fathers' were a shocking and vastly unpleasant gang of men.
(Was the Confederacy any better?)
So I was highly intrigued to receive my 2019 copy of The Coat of Arms, the academic journal of the Heraldry Society. It includes a paper by Paul A Fox, FSA, AIH (what does the latter abbreviation denote?) entitulated George Washington and the Origin of the Arms and Flag of the United States. In this context, the latter phrase clearly means the United States of North America.
Fox, a revisonist, attempts (plausibly, in my judgement) to re-establish the old story that the design of the Stars and Stripes was influenced by Washington's own inherited armorial achievement. OK. But what particularly interested me was that in his discussion it comes out how strongly the iconography of the Revolution was influenced by 'Free Masonry'; and how many of those who set up the US of A were rabid 'Masons' . There is an interesting discussion of the Summons Plate of the new Philadelphia Lodge in 1759.
(Incidentally, Fox does not discuss the significance of the Triangle with the Tetragrammaton inside it ... which was not, I believe, confined to 'Masonry' but occurs also in Catholic Baroque religious iconography.)
Apparently, Washington was accompanied on his military rampages by a 'Command Flag' looking exactly like our European flag, except that, instead of the Twelve Stars of our blessed Lady's Crown, it has thirteen stars. Fox explains that 'Masonic' lodges have lots of stars painted on their ceilings.
I commend this article to mah fellow Europeans. It will help them better to understand that mysterious superpower which lurks just over the horizon from County Kerry.