The Flag of the USA of America consists of 13 equal horizontal stripes of crimson (prime and backside) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle within the canton bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars organized in 9 offset horizontal rows of six stars (prime and backside) alternating with rows of 5 stars. The 50 stars on the flag symbolize the 50 states and the 13 stripes symbolize the unique 13 Colonies that rebelled in opposition to the British crown and have become the primary states within the Union. Nicknames for the flag embody “the Stars and Stripes”, “Previous Glory”, and “the Star-Spangled Banner”.
Due to its symbolism, the starred blue canton is named the “union”. This a part of the nationwide flag can stand alone as a maritime flag known as the Union Jack which served as the USA jack on warships from 1777 till 2002. United States warships now show as a jack, the Culpepper Ensign, which is displayed right here. The blue canton continues for use as a jack, nonetheless, by numerous federally-owned vessels, together with these of the Coast Guard, Navy Sealift Command, and Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Historical past of The Flag
The flag has been modified 26 occasions for the reason that new, 13-state union adopted it. The 48-star model went unchanged for 47 years, the longest time the flag went unmodified till July 4, 2007, when the present 50-star flag broke the report.
On the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, the USA had no official nationwide flag. The Grand Union Flag, displayed right here, has traditionally been known as the “First Nationwide Flag”. Though it has by no means had any official standing, it was used all through the American Revolutionary Conflict by George Washington and fashioned the premise for the design of the primary official United States flag.
The origins of the flag’s design are unclear. It intently resembles the British East India Firm (BEIC) flag of the identical period, and an argument holds that the BEIC flag certainly impressed the design. The BEIC flag might have from 9 to fifteen stripes, nonetheless, and was not allowed to be flown exterior the Indian Ocean.
One other principle holds that the red-and-white stripe and later, stars-and-stripes motif of the flag could have been based mostly on the Washington household coat-of-arms, which consisted of a defend “argent, two bars gules, above, three mullets gules” (a white defend with two crimson bars beneath three crimson stars). That is the design of the flag of the District of Columbia.
Extra probably it was based mostly on a flag of the Sons of Liberty, one in all which consisted of 13 crimson and white alternating horizontal stripes.
The Flag Decision of 1777
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress handed the Flag Decision which said: “Resolved, That the flag of the USA be 13 stripes, alternate crimson and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue discipline, representing a brand new Constellation.” Flag Day is now noticed on June 14 of every yr.
The Flag Decision didn’t specify any specific association for the celebrities. The so-called Betsy Ross Flag (with the 13 stars organized in a circle), though by no means an official flag, is the oldest model of any United States flag to seem on any bodily relic: it’s traditionally referenced in up to date battlefield work by John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale, which depict the round star association. Standard designs on the time had been assorted and most had been individually crafted relatively than mass-produced. Given the scant archaeological and written proof, it’s unknown which design was the preferred at the moment.
The origin of the celebrities and stripes design is unsure. A well-liked story credit Betsy Ross for stitching the primary flag from a pencil sketch by George Washington who personally commissioned her for the job. No proof for this principle exists, nonetheless, past Betsy’s descendants’ a lot later recollections of what she instructed her household. One other girl, Rebecca Younger, has additionally been credited as having made the primary flag by later generations of her household. Rebecca Younger’s daughter was Mary Pickersgill, who made the Star Spangled Banner Flag. One other, extra probably, standard principle is that the flag was designed by Congressman Francis Hopkinson. Hopkinson was the one particular person to have made such a declare throughout his personal lifetime, when he despatched a invoice to Congress for his work. Initially, he requested for a “Quarter Cask of the Public Wine” as cost. The cost was not made, nonetheless, as a result of it was decided he had already obtained a wage as a member of Congress, and he was not the one particular person to have contributed to the design. It must be famous that nobody else contested his declare on the time.
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Later Flag Acts
In 1795, the variety of stars and stripes was elevated from 13 to fifteen (to replicate the entry of Vermont and Kentucky as states of the union). For a time the flag was not modified when subsequent states had been admitted, most likely as a result of it was thought that this might trigger an excessive amount of muddle. It was the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that impressed Francis Scott Key to jot down “The Star-Spangled Banner,” now the Nationwide Anthem.
On April 4, 1818, an act was handed by Congress on the suggestion of Captain Samuel C. Reid, United States Navy, through which the flag was modified to have 20 stars, with a brand new star to be added when every new state was admitted, however the variety of stripes would stay at 13 to honor the unique colonies. The act specified that new flag designs ought to grow to be official on the primary July 4 (Independence Day) following admission of a number of new states.
Neither the order of the celebrities nor the proportions of the flag was prescribed till President Taft’s Govt Order of June 24, 1912, which supplied for the preparations of the celebrities in horizontal rows.
Consequently, flags relationship earlier than this era typically present uncommon preparations of the celebrities and odd proportions, these options being left to the discretion of the flag maker. Typically, nonetheless, straight rows of stars and proportions much like these later adopted formally had been used.
Way forward for the Flag
America Military Institute of Heraldry has plans for flags with as much as 56 stars, utilizing related staggered star preparations ought to further states accede.
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