Our Grand Old Flag

George Washington and Betsy Ross
According to some stories, Betsy Ross sewed the original American flag based on a design by George Washington.

You probably see an American flag every day. Do you know the history of the flag? America celebrates Flag Day on June 14th. It’s the perfect time to learn more about our flag!

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the first official flag of the United States. The descendants of a woman named Betsy Ross claim she sewed it based on a sketch by George Washington. There is no historical record to for sure whether this is true or not true. The design had 13 red and white stripes and 13 white stars in a blue field to represent each colony. The stars were arranged in a circle so that no colony would seem more important than the others.

In the early years of the country, a new star and a new stripe were added each time a new state was added to the Union. As more states joined, adding stripes became a problem. In 1818, Congress decided that the number of stripes should remain set at 13. These represent the 13 original colonies. Congress decided we will still add a star for each new state. Congress did not decide on a set pattern for the stars until 1919. Over the years, there have been 27 different versions of the flag. The current flag with 50 stars has been around since 1959.

What Do You Think? What else would you like to know about the American flag? Think of a question and do some research to learn more about our flag!

Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZC4-2791]