Even though most of us spent 30 seconds every day during our childhood pledging allegiance to the flag, many don't know how it came to be. It turns out, our red, white and blue symbol of freedom has gone through many changes over the years and has tons of people to credit for it becoming the staple it is today.
The first one was known as "The Continental Colors" and was used at the time of our Declaration of Independence in July 1776. Instead of stars, it featured a mini version of the British flag.
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing for the new nation, which stated: "Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
When soldiers at Fort Schuyler heard about the adoption of the first official flag, they cut up their shirts to make white stripes, used their blue union uniforms for the square and so on to create their own versions to wave proudly.
It was during a battle at Fort Schuyler during the . Above is a recreation of the Battle of Princeton, which took place a few months later in New Jersey on January 3, 1777.
Even though many historians believe the 13 stars (representing the original colonies) and stripes were designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross, technically there's no written record of this.
A whopping 27, to be exact. Several times stripes were incorporated and taken away, and a star was added every time a new state was formed. The most recent update took place in 1960 when a 50th star was added to represent the state of Hawaii.
Robert G. Heft is credited with designing the current 50-star flag as a high school class project. Interestingly enough, he received a B−, but his teacher later raised it to an A after the design was selected by congress.
The first recorded use of fringe is in 1835, but the Army didn't use it until 1895. Today, there's no specific law surrounding it, except an opinion of the attorney general from 1928, which states it's up to the discretion of the President.
Francis Scott Key was so inspired after seeing the American flag flying over Baltimore's Fort McHenry after a British bombardment in 1814 that he wrote "." It later became our national anthem in 1931.
Similarly, James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy wrote in honor of the flag in 1892, which was first published in a magazine called The Youth's Companion.
Back in the 1824, a sea captain named William Driver dubbed a 10-by-17-foot flag "Old Glory." After the Civil War, his daughter and niece feuded over which of them owned the original flag. So in 1922, both flags were hung in the National Museum of American History, where they remain today.
On August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day. Today, people hold parades in honor of if, with the oldest continuing one taking place in Fairfield, Washington.
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