What’s the History of the American Flag?

The American Flag is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. It represents the United States of America and its values of freedom, liberty, and democracy.

However, have you ever wondered about the history behind this iconic flag? Let’s explore its origins.

The First American Flag

In 1776, during the American Revolution, a committee was formed by the Continental Congress to create an official flag for the newly formed country. The committee consisted of three members: George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross. They presented their design to Congress on June 14th, and it was adopted as the official flag of the United States.

The first American flag had thirteen stripes – seven red and six white – representing the thirteen original colonies that declared independence from Great Britain. In addition to this, there were thirteen white stars on a blue field in the upper left corner of the flag.

Changes to the Flag

Over time, as new states joined the Union, new stars were added to represent them on the flag. This led to several changes in design over the years.

In 1795, two additional stripes and two stars were added for Vermont and Kentucky. However, this made it difficult to manufacture and eventually led to a return to thirteen stripes.

The Star-Spangled Banner

During the War of 1812 between America and Great Britain, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry”. The poem was later set to music and became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner”. It describes how Key saw an American flag flying over Fort McHenry after a night-long bombardment by British forces.

This event inspired Americans and gave new meaning to their flag as a symbol of resilience and national pride. In 1818, Congress passed legislation that established a fixed design for the American Flag – consisting of thirteen stripes and one star for each state.

The American Flag Today

Today, the American Flag remains an important symbol of the United States’ values and history. It is displayed proudly at public events, schools, and government buildings. The flag is also flown at half-staff as a sign of mourning during times of national tragedy.

In conclusion, the American Flag has a rich history that spans over two centuries. Its design has evolved over time to reflect the growth and expansion of the United States. The flag represents not only the country’s past but also its present and future as a beacon of freedom and democracy in the world.