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American Revolution

The United States Flag

Current Day Flag of the United States
Current Flag of the United States
History >> American Revolution

During the American Revolutionary War, the Congress decided that the country needed a flag to represent the united colonies. On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress passed a Flag Resolution. This day is still celebrated as Flag Day in the United States.

The resolution said that the United States Flag would have 13 red and white alternating stripes and that there would be a blue area with 13 white stars. They didn't give an exact description of the flag and there were several different versions.


Flag design by Betsy Ross
Did Betsy Ross sew the first flag?

Legend has it that seamstress Betsy Ross sewed the first American Flag from a sketch that George Washington gave her. No one is sure if this story is fact or just a myth, but it makes for a good story.

Changing of the flag

The flag has changed over the years. Here is the history of changes:
United States flag in the wind
Flag waving in the wind.
Photo by Ducksters

Details of the United States Flag

The official flag is to be 1.9 times as long as it's width. It has thirteen red and white alternating stripes with a red stripe on the top and on the bottom. The blue part in the upper left is called the Union. The Union is to be 7 stripes tall. There are 50 white stars in the Union representing the 50 states. They are in 11 staggered horizontal rows of 5 and 6 stars.

What are the names of the flag?

The US flag has several nicknames. The most popular ones include the Star Spangled Banner, the Stars and Stripes, and Old Glory.

Flags on flagpoles around the Washington Monument in D.C.
Flags surround the Washington Monument.
Photo by Ducksters

Star Spangled Banner

Original flag that was the Star Spangled Banner
Star Spangled Banner Flag
Source: Smithsonian Archives
This is a nickname for the United States flag. The original Star Spangled Banner flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore which was part of the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key wrote a poem about the battle and flag that was later turned into a song. The song eventually became the National Anthem of the United States.

Honor the Flag

The United States flag is a symbol of our freedom. Many men and women have died over the years to preserve our freedom and the flag represents them as well. There are rules of flag etiquette some of which include never letting the flag touch the ground, how and where it should be displayed, and that it should be lit up if flown at night.

Activities Learn more about the Revolutionary War:

Events
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Works Cited

History >> American Revolution






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