States Flag is the third oldest among all the National Standards
of the world. It suffered various changes along the years, until
the final version of the flag was established.
flag was authorized by the Congress on June 14, 1777, date which
America celebrate the Flag Day.
It was first
decreed that there should be a star and a stripe standing for
each of the thirteen newborn states, which had just been set
up from the original thirteen colonies.
The Pre-revolutional Colonial
Flag was the Union flag probably displayed from the main mast
of the Mayflower 1620 and on ships which brought English settlers
to Jamestown in 1607.
Before a national
flag had been created, colonies and militias used different flags.
Some of these flags, such as the Navy Jack, or "Rattlesnake
Flag" , used by the Continental Navy in the Revolutionary
War, became very famous with its slogan "Don't Tread on
The Great Union ,
or Grand Union Flag, also known as the Continental flag, was
the first true Flag to be used. It combined the British King's
colors and the thirteen stripes signifying Colonial unity. It
is said that George Washington liked this design so much that
for this reason he chose it to be flown to celebrate the formation
of the Continental Army on New Years Day, 1776. On that day the
Grand Union Flag was proudly raised over Continental Army on
Prospect Hill, Somerville, near the General's headquarters at
Cambridge, Massachusetts. This flag was also often used after
the Continental Congress authorized the Stars and Stripes.
It is believed that
the Bennington Flag was carried at the Battle of Bennington,
on August 6, 1777. Many authorities believe that this banner
is the oldest known Stars and Stripes flag, that it is the first
Stars and Stripes flag known to have been used by the United
States ground forces, and that it was the first Stars and Stripes
flag raised in victory in the Revolutionary War.
This is the popular
version of the flag Betsy Ross is credited to have made at the
suggestion of General George Washington in June, 1776, which
became the first national flag of the United States. Congress
passed the first flag act on June 14, 1977. "RESOLVED: that
the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, white
in blue field, representing a new constellation."
In 1791, and later
in 1792, the number of stars and stripes was raised to fifteen,
for Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the Union and The Star
Spangled Banner, the second flag of the United States (1795-1818),
was created. This was the first flag to be carried across the
continent to the Pacific. Lewis and Clark carried it on their
expedition of 1804-1806. It was also flown over Fort McHenry
at Baltimore on September 13-14, 1814, and inspired Francis Scott
Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner", the official
anthem of the United States.
name "Old Glory" was given to the National Flag on
August 10, 1831, by Captain William Driver of the brig Charles
other states came into the Union later it was evident that there
would be too many stripes for each of them stands for an American
State. Thus, in 1818 the Congress established that the number
of stripes remain permanently thirteen, representing the thirteen
original states of the first flag, and that from that date on
only a star should be added for each new admitted state.
This is the third
United States flag and the first flag that provided for the addition
of one star for each State admitted to the Union, under the Act
of Congress passed on April 4, 1818. Arriving at this change
acquired forty-one years of time.
In 1912 New Mexico
and Arizona were admitted to the Union, increasing the number
of States to forty-eight. President Taft issued an executive
order on June 24, 1912 establishing the forty-eight star flag
(1913-1959). He also prescribed the relative proportions of the
flag and the arrangement of the stars. This was important as
investigation disclosed that more than sixty-six different sizes
and proportions were at that time used by the several executive
departments of the Federal Government. This forty-eight star
flag remained the national emblem for more than forty-six years,
until the final version of the flag was set in 1960.
After Alaska and then
Hawaii joined the Union, a new design and arrangement of stars
were required in the union of the flag. In the order issued by
President Eisenhower, on August 21, 1959, the national banner
with fifty stars became the official flag of the United States.
President Eisenhower issued on attachment to the order specifying
the position of the stars in the union, and setting forth the
dimensions and proportions of the constituent parts of the flag.
American flag consists of three colors: the white stands for
hope purity, innocence and rectitude of conduct; the red stands
for valor, zeal and warmth; the blue, symbolizing the color of
heaven, stands for reverence to God, loyalty, sincerity, justice
star symbolizes dominion, sovereignty and noble aspirations.
The constellation of the stars within the union, one star standing
for each state, "is emblematic of the American Federal Constitution,
which reserves to the States their individual sovereignty except
as to rights delegated by them to the Federal Government".
Washington interpreted the symbolism of the Flag as follows:
"We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother
country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we
have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down
to posterity representing Liberty."
The United States
Flag carries a message of national independence, sovereignty,
individual civic and religious liberty and embodies the essence
of justice and patriotism. It represents a Nation distinguished
for the individual conception of its citizens alike and their
the flag first rose over the old thirteen states, the population
of America consisted of about three million people. It was carried
through wars along the years and heroes have have died for it.
Today over two hundred million people owe it allegiance.
got these information from a poster I bought in a shop at Liberty
Square at Walt Disney World's
Magic Kingdom, near the Hall of Presidents, in 1984.