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The History List

"We hold these truths - July 4, 1776” T-shirt

Regular price $ 27.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $ 27.95 USD
Sale Sold out
Color and Fabric

Our original design, celebrating July 4th and our nation's Declaration of Independence.

On the front, "1776" and our nation's first flag,

On the back, text from the original vellum copy that the delegates signed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — July 4, 1776."

This design is also available in a 100% cotton made in USA long-sleeved shirt.

And we have the "1776 with Our Nation's First Flag" shirt in antique denim as well as in a crewneck sweatshirt in charcoal, light heather grey v-neck shirt and a grey tank top for women. 

The shirt: We’re offering your choice of fabrics and colors:
  • White - 100% cotton Made in the USA shirt — Grown, knitted, dyed, and sewn in the USA. Heavier weight, 5.4 oz. Your best choice if you're looking for a 100% Made in the USA shirt. Sizes S - 6X. this shirt runs small. Order one size up from what you normally wear. With "1776" on the front and  on the front and back. See size chart.
    Care: Wash white shirts in cold so that the colors don't run.
  • Light blue heather and silver - Our standard 4.3 oz. poly-cotton shirt that gets rave reviews. Our softest shirt. It's also our thinnest and lightest. It is very high-quality and long-wearing, but it is thin and light. Lots of people love them, which you can see in the reviews, but if you judge t-shirt quality based on weight or thickness, do not get this one. Instead, get the 100% cotton shirt above. Sizes XS - 3X. Note that "silver" is really more of a pewter color.  See size chart.
  • Also available on a dry-fit style long-sleeved moisture-wicking 100% polyester interlock shirt with SPF 40+ UV protection.

Note that the $3 price difference for the 100% cotton Made in the USA shirt is our higher wholesale cost; there is no additional margin.

You can also find this design on a static clingvinyl decal, and boxed notecards with envelope.


About the flag

By the end of 1775, during the first year of the American Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress operated as a de facto war government authorizing the creation of an Army, a Navy and even a small Marine Corps. A new flag was needed to represent the Congress and fledgling nation, initially the United Colonies, with a banner distinct from the British Red Ensign flown from civilian and merchant vessels, the White Ensign of theBritish Royal Navy, and the British Union flags carried by the British Army's men on land. Individual states had been using their own independent flags with Massachusetts using the Taunton Flag and New York using the George Rex Flag prior to the adoption of the Grand Union Flag.

The U.S. colonists' (Continental Colour) was first hoisted on the colonial warship Alfred, in the harbor on the western shore of the Delaware River at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1775, by newly-appointed Lieutenant John Paul Jones of the formative Continental Navy. The event had been documented in letters to Congress and eyewitness accounts. The flag was used by the U.S. Continental Army forces as both a naval ensign and garrison flag throughout 1776 and early 1777.

It is not known for certain when or by whom the design of the Continental Colors was created, but the flag could easily be produced by sewing white stripes onto the British Red Ensigns. The "Alfred" flag has been credited to Margaret Manny.

It was widely believed that the flag was raised by George Washington's Army on New Year's Day, 1776, at Prospect Hill in Charlestown (now part of Somerville), near his headquarters at Cambridge, Massachusetts, (across the Charles River to the north from Boston), which was then surrounding and laying siege to the British forces then occupying the city, and that the flag was interpreted by British military observers in the city under commanding General Thomas Gage, as a sign of surrender.[5] Some scholars dispute the traditional account and conclude that the flag raised at Prospect Hill was probably a British union flag.

The name "Grand Union" is contemporary to Reconstruction-era historians and was first applied to the Continental Colors by George Henry Preble, in his 1872 History of the American Flag.

Source: Wikipedia.

The hang tag that accompanies the shirt includes a lengthy quote from John Adams, writing from Philadelphia on July 3

" . . . the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. — The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. — Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. — This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago."

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776, from the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Spelling in the original.

The Continental Congress declared freedom from Britain on July 2 and approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4. The flag was the Continental Navy Ensign, which was first flown December 3, 1775 on the colonial warship Alfred and is considered to be our first national flag. See more on the flag above.




Timing: We try to ship orders within three business days of receiving them.

If you need to receive your order by a certain date, such as to give as a gift or have for a trip, we recommend ordering at least weeks in advance, especially if you are use USPS shipping. 

If you're looking for a reliable and on-time deliveries, we strongly suggest upgrading to the "UPS 3 Business Day Select Shipping."

  • When it's longer, such as around the Christmas holidays, we'll put up an announcement in the site and will list recommended shipping deadlines below.
  • If an item is out of stock, we will contact you.
  • If one of your items is an advance order, that will be noted on the product page along with an estimate of when it will ship. If that estimated date changes, the product page will be updated.


    Domestic shipping charges:

    • Free shipping
      • On stickers, magnets, decals, patches, static clings, and individual button pins.

    • US Postal Service shipping - The least expensive, though also less reliable than UPS. We strong recommend selected UPS (below), especially during November and December.

      • $4.95 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

        Regardless of the number of items you order, the shipping price is still fixed at $4.95. Our flat rate shipping means you can add another t-shirt, cap, or book for no additional shipping charge.

      • $7.95 for Woven blanket, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, and mugs.

    • UPS 3 Business Day Select - We strongly recommend using UPS, especially in November and December.
    UPS's normal (non-holiday) delivery guarantee is by the end of the third business day.  See the UPS site for details.
      • $11.95 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

      • $14.95 for Woven blanket, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, and mugs.

    • UPS Overnight (Next Business Day Delivery)

      • $44.95 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

      • $49.95 for Woven blanket, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, and mugs.

    International shipping: Limited to US Postal Service International Service only.

    • Canada and Mexico

      • $18.00 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

      • $24.00 for Woven blanket, hooded sweatshirts, and mugs. 

    • Rest of the World

      • Rates starts at $65.00

    Note: Some large, heavy items may have an additional shipping charge.  If that's the case, it will be noted on the product page.

      All designs are copyrighted by The History List

      All designs are copyrighted by The History List and the History Nerd text and design on t-shirts is a registered trademark. If you see a knock off, please let me know.


      Your purchases support our mission to engage people with local history and to support historic sites and history organizations across the country.

      Customer Reviews

      Based on 106 reviews
      Amanda Y.
      Love these shirts!

      This is my second order from THL, I also have the 1773 shirt. Always good quality soft shirts and supports a great cause! Make History cool again y'all!!

      Dan R.
      T shirt

      Fits great

      Matthew W.
      “1776” Sweatshirt a Hit

      Nothing like walking into your 5th Grade classroom decked out in your Declaration sweatshirt to launch a lesson on the Declaration of Independence. Talk about total immersion. Thanks History List. It was a hit!

      Stephanie H.
      Snagged a cool 1776 sweatshirt !!!!

      This was my first purchase from the History List. I purchased the 1776 crew neck sweatshirt for my sister in law who is also , like me, a history teacher! She especially loved the quote from the Declaration on the back! She said the sweatshirt was very comfy! I was impressed with the ease of ordering and was amazed that if the size wasn’t right it could be returned for a different size! You don’t see that much anymore! You have now secured a customer..I have a few tshirts that have caught my eye! Thank you for an excellent product and thank you for getting this last minute gift to her before Christmas!

      Jessica L.
      LOVE This Sweatshirt

      As with everything I've ever purchased from The History List, this is excellent quality. Sizes are exactly as described. I bought one for myself and one as a gift. Couldn't be happier!

      Carol B.
      1776 T-Shirt

      "We hold these truths to be self evident" - proud to wear this shirt displaying our rights guaranteed by the Constitution! Soft cotton, love the light blue color, great fit!

      Brian M.
      Love the T-shirt

      Bought this t-shirt for myself. The printing is amazing and the fabric is really comfortable. Also got some stickers which my teenage children loved even though that are not huge history fans like me.

      Joshua B.
      Excellent quality

      Exactly what I wanted. I get compliments every time I wear it!

        ["1776","Declaration of Independence","gift","hardcore","History buff","History lover","History student","History teacher","NBIS","Revolutionary War"]