The Whiskey Rebellion Flag 1794 Whiskey Rebellion Flag The first real test of the new Federal Government of the United States was the Whiskey Rebellion. To finance our new country the Federal government imposed an excise tax on distilled spirits. Since coins and currency were scarce, whiskey served as an important medium of exchange. In Western Pennsylvania, farmers refused to pay the tax and attacked the collectors sent from the government. It is believed that this was one of the flags that was used in the brief protest, which ended when our first President George Washington called out 15,000 militia men to protect the tax collectors. There were also reports of striped flags like the Sons of Liberty flag and modified Stars and stripes flags being used in the violent protest over the right of the new national government to levy taxes.