The American flag has been the symbol of nation’s unity and strength for more than 200 years. The flag is a source of inspiration and pride for millions of citizens, and also the great icon in national history. The Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution on January 1 in 1776, which placed American forces under the control of George Washington. The Continental Army was attacking Boston on that New Year’s Day, which had been taken over by The British Army.
George Washington ordered to hoist the flag of the Grand Union above his base, which was located at Prospect Hill. The flag had 13 alternate white and red stripes and in the upper left-hand corner was the British Union Jack. According to popular legend, Betsy Ross made the very first American flag. She was seamstress in Philadelphia who was acquainted with George Washington and other influential Philadelphians. Unfortunately, historians were never able to verify this version of events, even though it is known that Betsy Ross made flags for the Pennsylvanian navy.
However, The Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act on June 14 in 1777, to establish the new nation’s official flag. The first Flag Act was: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” Congress passed a few acts which have changed the design, arrangement and shape of the flag. This allowed for additional stripes and stars to be added to reflect the admission of every new state and it happened between 1777 and 1960.
– On January 13 in 1794, act provided for 15 stars and 15 stripes after May 1795.
– On April 4 in 1818, act provided for 1 star for each state and 13 stripes, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July, following the admission of every new state, which was signed by President Monroe.
– On June 24 in 1912, Executive Order of President Taft provided for arrangement of the stars in 6 horizontal rows of 8 each, a single point of each star to be upward and established proportions of the flag.
– On January 3 in 1959, Executive Order of President Eisenhower provided for the arrangement of the stars in 7 rows of 7 stars each, staggered vertically and horizontally.
– On August 21 in 1959, Executive Order of President Eisenhower provided for the arrangement of the stars in 9 rows of stars staggered horizontally and 11 rows of stars staggered vertically.
Today the American flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes 7 red alternating with 6 white. The stars represent the 50 states of the Union, the stripes represent the original 13 colonies. In addition, the colors of the flag are also symbolic. White symbolizes Innocence and Purity, Red symbolizes Valor and Hardiness, and Blue represents Justice, Perseverance and Vigilance.