The American national
flag has come through a course of changes. It was changed some 27
times from 1777 to 1960.
Let us take
a journey along the course of history to see
how our national flag has
come to evolve through various changes.Getting familiar with the
changing faces of the Flag. Isn't it a nice and wise way to celebrate
the Flag Day.
Well, the Stars and Stripes came to be regarded as the national flag with
the official recognition of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. This
was the year following our nation's independence. So, what was there before
this Stars and Stripes came to secure its berth as the national flag? Which
one was used to really flag off the journey of an independent
Union of American States, a year ago? How did it look like?
The Grand Union Flag:
It showed the British Union Flag of 1606, the
predecessor of the Union Jack, in the canton. Its field consisted of seven red and six white alternated stripes representing the 13 colonies.
The latter officially replaced it on June 14, 1777.
Other earlier versions:
There were some other early versions of the Flag. A very popular one among
them was, the first Navy Jack. It had the 13 red-white stripes with a rattlesnake overall, and the motto
"Don't Tread on Me."
The 1st national Flag:
Called the Stars and Stripes, this was formally approved by the Continental Congress--on June 14,
1777. The blue canton was to contain 13 stars, but the layout of the stars was left undefined, and several patterns are known.The one designed by the legendary Betsy Ross is said to feature the stars arranged in five rows of either two or three stars.
The Navy adopted its own flag
Some related designs that followed soon, include the 76 Flag. It was flown at the Battle of Bennington
on Aug. 16, 1777.
Hulbert's Stars and Stripes
Yet another contemporary flag that was cast in the mold of the Stars and Stripes was the one designed by John Hulbert, a magistrate. It's stripes
were the same but the canton featured a diamond-shaped field of 13 stars
The Stars and Stripes - 1795 version
Stars and Stripes remained unchanged until May 1, 1795, when two more stars and two more stripes were added to reflect the admission to the union of Vermont (1791) and Kentucky (1792).
It was this flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to
write the "Star Spangled Banner".
Stars & Stripes - 1818 version
In 181 8, with five more states being admitted, the Congress enacted legislation.
This stated that henceforth the stripes should remain 13, whereas the number of stars should always match the number of
states. It was also decided that any new star should be added on the July 4 following a state's
admission. This has been the system ever since.
The 1863 version:
On May 1, 1863, a new national flag, the Stainless Banner
was adopted. However, the design did not last long.
The 1865 version:
But a still short lived was
a modification of the Stainless Banner. It was adopted, rather futilely, about a month before the end of the war in April
Stars and Stripes - standardized version
Since then every time a new
state was annexed, the size of the canton, as well as the stripes got
altered, so as to accommodate the increased number of stars. It took
to Oct. 29, 1912, when an executive order standardized the proportions and relative sizes of the elements of the flag.
However, the exact shades of color of the elements were yet to be
And it took till 1934 to standardize this.
The national flag which we see these days has been effective since July 4, 1960.
This was following the inclusion of Hawaii in the United States of America.
However, this flag featuring 50 stars on a canton against the background of 13 stripes
- 7 red and 6 white - has been evolved through a long period of eventful years.