By order of Congress, an American flag flies 24 hours a day on the green in the center of Lexington , marking the place where colonists first took up arms against the Redcoats. Unless you have the good fortune of arriving for Patriot’s Day  celebrations, you’ll now have to imagine the fateful battle that kicked off the fight for Independence, which as battles go was somewhat anti-climatic.
Captain Parker lined his 77 men in a ragtag formation behind a meeting house at the western side of the green. Outnumbered by the 300-some British who marched into town (with another 400 behind them), they were ordered by British Major John Pitcairn to disarm. Somewhere a shot rang out, and in the ensuing melee eight Americans were killed and 10 wounded before Parker beat a hasty retreat.
Several monuments on the green bear testimony to the fracas. At the eastern end, the callipygous statue of The Minuteman, which represents Parker, was placed there in 1900. A rock halfway down the green shows the location of the original battle line. At the far end, where the minutemen actually fell, is an older monument placed over their graves in 1799 with an inscription capturing the passion of the events only 20 years earlier.