September 3, 1777 -- The American flag was flown in battle for the first time on this day during a Revolutionary War
skirmish at Cooch's Bridge, Delaware
. Patriot General William Maxwell ordered the "Stars and Stripes" banner raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. The rebels were defeated and forced to retreat to Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania
, where they joined General George Washington
's main force.