While Columbus was in Spain seeking backing for an expedition the Cabots were in England on a like mission. They had little success, but when the news of Columbus’ discovery reached King Henry VII his interest quickened and he gave ear to them. More than a year was consumed in fitting out the expedition, and recruiting and training the ship’s crew.
Cabot sailed under the Royal Standard of England, the Red Cross of St. George on a white field, an emblem that was brought home in the year 1275 by King Edward I when, as Prince of Wales, he went on one of the crusades to the Holy Land.
On June 24, 1497, John Cabot planted this flag on the shores of Labrador. Except for the Viking flag, it was the first flown over the mainland of America. The expedition worked down the coast and went back to England. On subsequent voyages the Cabots explored as far south as Florida but effected no settlements.
Under this flag the Constant brought the settlers to Jamestown in 1607. It was one of the flags flown on the Mayflower which brought the Pilgrim Fathers to Plymouth in 1620.