This time of year, as the anniversary of the independence of the United States approaches, we thought it would be interesting to review the history and origin of the American flag.
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Of course, the thirteen stars represent the original thirteen colonies.
The origin of the first American flag is unknown. Some historians believe it was designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.
Between 1777 and 1960 Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
Today the flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
On August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July!