The first American flag was created during the American Revolutionary War. Since then, the American flag has undergone a lot of changes. Over the 19th and 20th centuries, these changes reflected the addition of new states.
The American Flag is known by many popular names. It has been called the Stars and Stripes, referring to its unique design. It has also been called the Star Spangled Banner and the Old Glory.
A Brief History of the American Flag, perhaps the world's most famous and recognized flag. Read more about the American Flag History >>
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The American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775. This war was fought between the American colonies and the British forces. During the war, American states elected a parliament of their own which was called the Continental Congress.
The second such Congress met in 1777 and was called the Second Continental Congress. While the war was still going on, the Second Continental Congress decided that the newly-born USA should have a flag of its own. So the Congress passed a resolution on June 14, 1777. This came to be known as the Flag Resolution.
In the Flag Resolution, Congress decided that the flag should have 13 red and 13 white alternating stripes. And the top left corner of the flag should have 13 white stars. The total number of white stripes, red stripes and the stars was 13 because at the time, the United States comprised of 13 states.
The Congress resolution didn’t provide all the details regarding the design of the flag. So many different versions of the flag came into being. Also, as the years passed, many changes had to be made to the flag. For instance, as the number of states increased, the flag design was modified to include more stars representing the states.
The first major official change to the flag took place in January, 1794 when the total number of stars and stripes was increased to 15.
In 1818, the total number of stripes was changed back to 13 in order to represent the original 13 states, and it was decided that the total number of stars would represent the total number of states.
In 1912, the Congress resolved that the stars on the flag should be placed in rows of eight. When the number of states reached 50 in August, 1959, the Congress resolved that the stars should now be placed in rows of seven.
According to the popular history of the American flag, Betsy Ross is famously regarded as the person who sewed the first American flag. Although this has been believed for many centuries, no one is sure if it is a fact or a legend.
One popular name of American flag was the Star Spangled Banner. This name became popular in the War of 1812 when a star-spangled flag, representing USA, was flown over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. Inspired by this flag, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem about it. This poem was later adopted as the National Anthem of USA.
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