Country MoonThe stars and stripes, the flag of the United States of America, stands for the unity of America, a common cause and the hope for a better tomorrow. Past, present and future, the flag represents the freedom that we Americans cherish and the price that we have paid for it. Like our country, the flag has some interesting history and facts of its own.

The very first flag was the result of the Flag Resolution that was passed on July 14, 1777. It states, "Resolved, That the flag of the 13 United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." George Washington was the only president to serve under this flag which Congressman Francis Hopkinson designed. Betsy Ross, a seamstress friend of George Washington was commissioned to sew the first flag. This first Star Spangled Banner, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem of the same name, is one of the most treasured artifacts of our history and is in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

The Congressional Act of April 4, 1818, signed by President Monroe, required the number of stars to equal the number of states in the union and fixed the number of stripes at 13. Following the admission of each new state, a star for each state was added each year on July 4. Our 50-star flag as we know it today, was ordered by President Eisenhower and adopted in July of 1960.

American flag
Photo property of Getty Images/akurtz.

The stars are in nine rows staggered horizontally and in eleven rows staggered vertically. These stripes stand for the 13 original states. The colors of red, white and blue also have significance. White signifies purity and innocence, red represents hardiness and valor, while blue stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution that has come to be known as the US Flag Code. Quite simply, it states how citizens should behave around the flag, after all it is a symbol of our freedom and pride and deserves to be revered. Most importantly, it is to be saluted during parades, every time our National Anthem is sung and every time it is hoisted up.

7/13/2018 7:25:58 AM

Lois, well said. I never thought that we would be having the issues with respecting the flag that we have today. Although I've never fought in a war, I am a veteran and think it's a real shame that we have lost some of the honor for those that fought and died to keep this country free. When war comes this country seems to unify against a common foe but when peace comes it seems this country bickers with each other on the simplest of issues. ***** Thank You so much for the flag history. Have a great grand old flag day. ***** Nebraska Dave

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