The "Colonial Red Ensign Flag" (1707); was the first official
flag to fly over the Colonies while under British rule

The British Point Of View:
The Colonies

Used with permission from

"In 1765, the British government imposed a stamp duty on all official documents in the colonies. The idea was to help pay for the rising defence costs of the colonies - the majority of which was still being borne by the British government. The 13 disparate colonies suddenly found a common voice in their antipathy towards this taxation. They argued that they did not need to pay direct taxation for defence as they already contributed to their defensive costs by submitting to the Navigation Acts. The furore was abated when the government withdrew the Stamp Acts but was further ignited in 1768 when new indirect taxes were introduced. These also were hastily withdrawn when the depth of feeling was demonstrated to the government.

Revolutionary feelings may well have subsided but for the fact that the East India Company had been experiencing financial problems. To help ease their financial burdens, the government agreed to break their own Navigation Acts and allow the company to sell their tea direct to America.