Van Arsdale raised the Flag

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On November 25, 1783, later known as Evacuation Day, he is said to have gamely climbed a greasy flagpole left by the British at Fort George as they departed the city, to remove their standard and replace it with the American flag. The flag-raising story only appears after the fact though, and many accounts that include a climber describe a man a decade younger than Van Arsdale actually was at that point. He and his descendants, such as John Lafayette Riker, are associated with later annual commemorations.

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