Unlocking The History Of American Flag


The flag of any country conveys the identity of its people, and the stars and stripes are the identity of Americans. From suburban porches, to schools, governmental buildings, and to the moon, the American flag has stood and still stands unfurled.

Though every state has its own flag, Americans all over prefer to use the county’s flag to show respect for their nation. It’s been used to show patriotism as well as the struggles the country has overcome. The current flag has been used since 1960 when Hawaii became the 50th official state.

However, the 50-star flag we all know now wasn’t the first American flag. In fact, a series of flags would follow the first one and the flag has been modified an extensive 26 times. The history of the flag can tell you the history of America itself.

Who designed the flag?

Surprisingly, up until now, it’s still not a determined fact who designed the first flag. Despite having most of the credit going to a seamstress in Philadelphia named Betsy Ross, no evidence actually supports the legendary story that she sewed it from a sketch hand-drawn by George Washington, himself. Also, Congressman Francis Hopkinson claimed that he had designed it.

The design of the flag that you can buy today from https://starspangledflags.com/product-category/american-flags/ is the 27th version of the American flag. It is said to have been created by a high school student as part of a school project, and the design chosen by President Eisenhower out of 1000 other designs.  Today’s flags have the same design pattern, but with more stars, while the stripes and their number remain the same.

What does the design represent?

There are 50 stars, which we know represent the 50 states, on a blue background known as the Bluefield or Canton.

There are 13 red and white stripes on the flag of the USA. These 13 stripes; seven red and six white ones denote the former thirteen colonies. On July 4th, 1776 these colonies became independent of Great Britain with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Yet, there’s a version that’s not as well known concerning the stars and stripes that is in a book about the flag, which was put out by the 1977 House of Representatives. In the book, it states:  “The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”

Red, white and blue

Many believe the colors were chosen because each color has a specific meaning. Some believe these colors were chosen simply because they were the king’s colors since the heritage of America is based in Great Britain. It’s widely believed that the red symbolizes the blood that has been spilled by the patriots. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan put a spin on it, saying that red was for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.

Some of the different flags

Grand Union flag

American soldiers fought under several different flags during the early years of the Revolutionary War. One of them was called the Grand Union flag which flew over George Washington’s headquarters near Boston. It was the first American flag to be officially recognized by another country, and was the first unofficial flag raised in 1776 to celebrate the official status of the newly formed Continental Army by General George Washington.

Star-Spangled Banner

Made in Baltimore, Maryland, in July-August 1813, this flag is the inspiration behind what is now America’s national anthem.

Civil War flag

During the Civil War, forces used four official flags: 33, 34, 35 and 36 star U.S. Flag. From 1861 to 1863, the 34-star flag was the official flag of the United States.

World War flags

On July 4, 1912, the U.S. Flag encompassed 48 stars. This remained the official flag for 47 years, and was America’s identity in World Wars I and II, where America and its allies would come out victorious  This flag remained the official flag for 47 years. It was in 1960 when the last modification was made to add a star for Hawaii.

That’s just a very brief history of the flag that you have hanging on your porch or which you wave during the Fourth of July celebrations. Today the entire world recognizes the red, white and blue flag. Most people show love and respect, and honor the flag of their country, and Americans are no different. Their flag symbolizes a history, and the birth of a nation, that grew to become the most powerful nation in the world.  For more historical facts about the U.S., read 80s political events and be more proud of your American roots.

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