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The flag of the United States consists of thirteen horizontal stripes alternating red and white, with a blue canton with fifty 5-pointed stars. The proportions of the flag are 10:19.

Symbolism[]

The fifty stars represent the fifty states of the United States, and the thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies of the United States. The symbolism of the rest of the flag is unknown.

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.

Red, white, and blue are the colors of the flags of the United Kingdom and France, both of which are the United States' relationship countries.

History[]

The flag of the United States is the most frequently changed national flag in the world. There have been 28 different designs including the original Grand Union flag in 1775.

Every star on the flag represents an American state. Each time the United States adds a new state, the following July 4 will be the adoption date of the new flag with another star. This method of updating the flag has two major benefits:

  1. It gives the citizens of the United States time to buy new flags.
  2. It lets Congress decide on the official design.
  3. If more than one state is added in the same year, the country does not need to adopt an entirely new flag design.

Betsy Ross flag[]

Betsy Ross flag.svg

The legendary Betsy Ross flag is the often supposed first flag of the United States (1775-1777), however, this conspiracy theory is unproven.

The legend states that George Washington, the first President of the newly independent united states of America, sent an order to Elizabeth Ross (now often called Betsy Ross) to sew a flag based on his flag design, which is the above design, except with six-pointed stars. Betsy first convinced George Washington that 5-pointed stars were better, and Washington begrudgingly accepted the idea. Betsy then sewed the flag, and presented it to Robert Morris, who took the flag to Washington to be adopted and flown. Many paintings accompany this legend, which all show the design as having 13 five-pointed stars in a ring.[2]

According to USFlag.org, most historians deny this legend, or myth, because no records were kept that any of this actually happened. One record indicates that Betsy was the official flagmaker for the Pennsylvania Navy, but no records exists of her sewing the first American flag.


Nicknames[]

  • Stars and Stripes
  • Grand Union (1775)
  • Old Glory
  • The Star Spangled Banner

Trivia[]

  • The flag of the United States is the most frequently changed national flag in the world, due to the fact that is adds a star for every new state.
  • Liberia is the 1 out of 2 countries/states in which flag is inspired by the US flag, the other one being Texas.

References[]

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