Historical Progression of the American Flag Design
The American Flag has been the symbol of our Nation's strength and unity for over 200 years. In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.
June 14, 1777 - The Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act noting that it ... "be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."
Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the arrangement of the flag to allow for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state. The flag has changed 26 times since the new 13 state Union adopted it.
Today, the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white, representing the thirteen original colonies. The stars represent the 50 states of our Union.
Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence, Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
December 3, 1775
Unofficial "Grand Union Flag"
No colonies are represented
June 14, 1777
Betsy Ross Flag
August 16, 1777
Battle of Bennington Flag
Notice the top and bottom stripes are white
May 1, 1795
15 States: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont & Virginia
Notice this design has 15 stripes
July 4, 1818
20 States with Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio & Tennessee
July 4, 1837
26 States with Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Michigan & Missouri
July 4, 1847
29 States with Florida, Iowa & Texas
July 4, 1859
33 States with California, Minnesota, Oregon & Wisconsin
July 4, 1865
36 States with Kansas, Nevada & West Virginia
July 4, 1867
37 States with Nebraska
July 4, 1877
38 States with Colorado
July 4, 1890
43 States with Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota & Washington
July 4, 1912
48 States with Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah & Wyoming
July 4, 1960 to present
50 States with Alaska & Hawaii