Designing The American Flag

The history of how Old Glory earned her Stars and Stripes

The First Resolution Regarding The Country’s Flag: June 14, 1777

The Second Congressional Congress Passes the Flag Resolution which stated…

The First National Design Debt

Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of  The Declaration of Independence, is recognized as the designer of the official “first flag” of the United States. His first letter requesting compensation from Congress was sent May 25, 1780. He asked for a quarter cask of wine which he never received for his contribution of designing the first US flag and “The Great Seal”.

So every year on his birthday, the workers at Christ Church take a bottle of wine to his grave-site and share it to remember his contribution. 

American Mythology Betsy Ross

Popular designs at the time varied and most were individually crafted rather than mass-produced. One particular design, credited to Betsy Ross, gained widespread popularity. The Legend that Betsy Ross designed or sewed the first American flag completely lacks historical evidence or documentation.

Commemorating Tradition 

January 1, 1952 The US Postal Service releases a commemorative stamp to celebrate the 200 birthday of Betsy Ross.

Old Glory Levels Up

15 Stars 15 Stripes Flag 1795

In 1795, the number of stars and stripes was increased from 13 to 15 to reflect the entry of Vermont and Kentucky as States of The Union.

20 Stars 13 Stripes Flag 1818

In 1818, a bill was passed by Congress in which the design of the flag was changed to have 20 stars but the number of stripes would be reduced to 13 to honor The Original 13 Colonies.

The Birth of a Flag The Growth of a Nation

In the 1818 plan, a new star would be added when each new state was admitted into The Union. The 48-star version became official on July 4, 1959.
Delaware
1
December 7, 1787
Pennsylvania
2
December 12, 1787
New Jersey
3
December 18, 1787
Georgia
4
January 2, 1788
Connecticut
5
January 9, 1788
Massachusetts
6
February 6, 1788
Maryland
7
April 28, 1788
South Carolina
8
May 23, 1788
New Hampshire
9
June 21, 1788
Virginia
10
DJune 25, 1788
New York
11
July 26, 1788
North Carolina
12
November 21, 1789
Rhode Island
13
May 29, 1790
Vermont
14
March 4, 1791
Kentucky
15
June 1, 1792
Tennessee
16
June 1, 1796
Ohio
17
March 1, 1803
Louisiana
18
April 30, 1812
Indiana
19
December 11, 1816
Mississippi
20
December 10, 1817
Illinois
21
December 3, 1818
Alabama
22
December 14, 1819
Maine
23
March 15, 1820
Missouri
24
August 10, 1821
Arkansas
25
June 15, 1836
Michigan
26
January 26, 1837
Florida
27
March 3, 1845
Texas
28
December 29, 1845
Iowa
29
December 28, 1846
Wisconsin
30
May 29, 1848
California
31
September 9, 1850
Minnesota
32
May 11, 1858
Oregon
33
February 14, 1859
Kansas
34
January 29, 1861
West Virginia
35
June 20, 1863
Nevada
36
October 31, 1864
Nebraska
37
March 1, 1867
Colorado
38
August 1, 1876
North Dakota
39
November 2, 1889
South Dakota
40
November 2, 1889
Montana
41
November 8, 1889
Washington
42
November 11, 1889
Idaho
43
July 3, 1890
Wyoming
44
July 10, 1890
Utah
45
January 4, 1896
Oklahoma
46
November 16, 1907
New Mexico
47
January 6, 1912
Arizona
48
February 14, 1912
Alaska
49
January 3, 1959
Hawaii
50
August 21, 1959

The  Flag Today

The 50-star flag was ordered by President Eisenhower on August 21,1959, and became the longest running flag on July 4, 2007.