The American flag is one of the most well-known symbols in the world and is traditionally associated with freedom and liberty. The flag's origins can be traced back to the American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783), when American military forces required a flag to distinguish American ships and units from those of the British Empire. One of the first American flags to feature stars and stripes was the Brandywine flag, carried by Captain Robert Wilson's company of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment during the American Revolution. The flag was used during the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777.


Another early American flag is the Bennington Flag, which is red, white, and blue and named after the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. It is also known as the Fillmore flag after its owner Nathaniel Fillmore. While it is unclear whether the Easton flag can be seen as an origin of the American flag or not, the Grand Union flag, also known as the Continental flag, the Cambridge flag, or the First Navy Ensign, is considered one of the predecessors of the American flag. It was the most famous flag representing the Continental Army and the new nation at the time. The blue field in the upper left-hand corner bears the red cross of St. George of England with the white cross of St. Andrew of Scotland. The Grand Union Flag was first flown by the ships of the Colonial Fleet on the Delaware River.


The arrangement of the stripes on the American flag can be traced back to a 1765 Sons of Liberty flag called "The Boston Liberty Flag." It had nine red and white stripes that represented the representatives of the nine colonies who attended the Stamp Act Congress on October 19, 1764.


Stars have been used as a heraldic device since the 12th century, particularly in family coat of arms and for communities. The Holy Roman Empire also used stars in heraldry. They became popular as a heraldic device in the 16th and 17th centuries and can be seen as a symbol of strength and greatness.


Overall, the American flag has a rich history that reflects the nation's struggle for independence and its values of freedom and liberty. 

The American flag originated as a result of a resolution adopted by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Because the resolution gave no instructions on how the stars should be arranged or how many points the stars should have, there were many versions of the American flag in the beginning.

Although the origin of the first American flag is unknown, historians believe that the 13-Star American flag was designed by Francis Hopkinson, a lawyer from New Jersey and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is believed that he was the designer of the flag because he was also an artist who created the official seal of the State of New Jersey and who made significant contributions to the design of the Great Seal of the United States. The Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act on June 14, 1777, to establish an official flag for the young republic.

Francis Hopkinson was an important figure in the early history of the United States. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Continental Congress, where he served on several committees, including the Committee of Style that drafted the final text of the Declaration. Hopkinson was also a talented artist and musician, known for his satirical writings and his contributions to the design of the Great Seal of the United States. In particular, he is believed to have designed the 13-star American flag, which became the official flag of the young republic after it was established by the Continental Congress in 1777. Hopkinson's varied accomplishments and contributions make him an interesting and important figure in American history.

  • born in Philadelphia on October 2, 1737
  • After he graduated from the College of Philadelphia, he studied law
  • In 1774, he was appointed to the New Jersey Governor's Council
  • He represented the state of New Jersey in the Continental Congress
  • One signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Chairman of the Continental Navy Board's  Middle Department
  • Hopkinson had an affinity for designing seals (The seal of the state of New Jersey as well as the ones of the American Philosophical Society and the College of Philadelphia)


The 15-Star American Flag, also known as the Star-Spangled Banner, holds a special place in American history as one of the most recognizable and iconic symbols of the country. This unique flag features 15 stripes and 15 stars, as it was designed and produced under the Second Flag Act in 1794. Unlike other American flags that followed it, the Star-Spangled Banner has an extra stripe to represent each of the 15 states in the Union at the time of its creation.


The Star-Spangled Banner gained fame during the War of 1812 when it flew over Fort McHenry during a British bombardment of Baltimore. Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer and amateur poet, was among the American prisoners on a British warship during the battle. From his vantage point, he watched as the American flag held strong above the fort despite the constant barrage of enemy fire. This inspiring sight moved Key to write a poem titled "Defence of Fort M'Henry," which would later become known as the Star-Spangled Banner.


The Star-Spangled Banner quickly became a popular and patriotic symbol in the United States. The song was set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," a melody composed by a Briton named Stafford Smith. It was first performed publicly in 1814, and it soon became a popular patriotic song throughout the country. In 1931, the Star-Spangled Banner officially became the national anthem of the United States, a status it still holds today.


In addition to its symbolic significance, the Star-Spangled Banner is also an important historical artifact. The original flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Its size and unique design make it a fascinating and valuable piece of American history.


The flag at Fort McHenry had an enormous size of thirty-by-forty-two feet and weighed about fifty pounds. It was raised onto a ninety-foot flagpole at the fort. The flag was sewn by Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore.


The fifteen-star, fifteen-stripe flag also flew on the best-known warships of the U.S. Navy, "The Constitution," also known as "Old Ironsides," and it was flown during the Tripolitan War.

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was an American lawyer, author, and poet who is best known for writing the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem of the United States. Born in Maryland, Key was educated at St. John's College in Annapolis before becoming a lawyer. He was a respected attorney and a devoted Christian who also served as a public official in his home state.


In addition to "The Star-Spangled Banner," Key wrote a number of other poems, many of which dealt with religious themes. He also wrote legal treatises and was active in the anti-slavery movement. Key died in 1843 and is buried in Frederick, Maryland.

  • born on August 1, 1779
  • went to Annapolis to attend Johns College
  • graduated in 1796 and studied law
  • began practicing law in 1801 in Frederick, Maryland
  • U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia
  • Poet and very religious
  • died in Baltimore on January 11, 1843

Samuel C. Reid, an officer in the United States Navy, suggested a redesign of the American flag in 1817. He proposed reducing the stripes back to thirteen to represent the 13 original states and adding a star for each new American state. Reid also suggested that the stars should form a large star in the center of the union. Despite not meeting general favor, Reid's Great Star Flag was the first of many Great Stars Flags over the years, and his idea of adding a star for each new state was eventually adopted.


On April 4, 1818, President James Monroe signed the third Flag Act, which established the shape of the American flag. The act was passed after Peter Hercules Wendover submitted a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for a committee to determine the future makeup of the Stars and Stripes. According to the Flag Act of 1818, the flag should consist of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white, and a blue canton with stars equal to the number of states. Whenever a new state was admitted to the Union, a star was added to the American flag on the following Fourth of July.


Since then, the American flag has evolved as new states were added to the Union, and currently, the flag consists of fifty stars and thirteen stripes. The design of the American flag has become a symbol of the nation's identity, representing the ideals and principles of freedom, democracy, and unity.


The Louisiana Purchase, which triggered the Westward Movement under the term "Manifest Destiny," had a significant influence on the shape of the American flag. Throughout the nation's history, the flag has undergone several changes. Prior to June 24, 1912, the order of the white stars and the proper proportions of the American flag were not prescribed, leading to some unusual arrangements of the stars on earlier versions of the flag. The American flag has a rich history that reflects the country's growth and development from its earliest days. Each version of the flag tells a unique story, from the original 13-star flag of 1777 to the current 50-star version.


The expansion of the United States resulted in a flag with 48 stars upon the admission of Arizona and New Mexico in 1912.

President William Howard Taft signed an executive order setting out the arrangement for the 48-star flag on June 24, 1912. 

The modern American flag goes back to the Executive Order No. 10834 issued on August 21, 1959 by President Dwight Eisenhower. The 50-star flag was raised for the first time on July 4, 1960 at the Fort Mc. Henry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland.


Interestingly, the current design of the American flag was chosen through a national contest. The winning entry was created by a 17-year-old named Robert G. Heft, who added two stars to the existing 48-star flag to represent the addition of Alaska and Hawaii. He received a B- for his design from his teacher, who later raised the grade to an A after the design was chosen by Congress.



The American flag represents freedom, democracy, and the ideals that the United States was founded upon. It is a symbol that has inspired countless Americans to serve their country and defend its values.

In 1885, Bernard Cigrand, a small-town teacher from Waubeka, Wisconsin, came up with the idea for an annual Flag Day to celebrate the American flag and its symbolism. Cigrand was a passionate patriot, whose parents had immigrated from Luxembourg, and an expert in heraldry, the study of coats of arms and symbols.


Together with his students and colleagues, Cigrand held the first Flag Day celebration on June 14, 1885, the 108th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. The event included patriotic speeches, songs, and the display of the American flag. Cigrand continued to promote Flag Day in schools and public events, and he wrote articles and books on the subject, hoping to instill a sense of national pride and unity.


President Woodrow Wilson officially declared June 14 as Flag Day in 1916, but it wasn't until August 1949 that National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress. Today, Flag Day is observed throughout the United States, with parades, ceremonies, and displays of the American flag in public and private spaces. It is a day to honor the sacrifices and achievements of generations of Americans who have defended the nation's freedoms and ideals, and to reaffirm our commitment to the principles of liberty, justice, and equality for all.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and published in the Youth's Companion, one of the most popular magazines of the time. The content was geared towards youth but also appealed to adults, including American authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Jack London, and Emily Dickinson. When the Pledge was published, no credit was given for its authorship. James B. Upham, a junior partner with the magazine, claimed that he was the one who wrote it, but Bellamy strongly spoke out, arguing that he was the author. Both the United States Flag Association and a study by the Library of Congress have concluded that Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.


In its original version, the Pledge was accompanied by a salute in which the right arm was extended towards the flag. This salute was later replaced by the hand-over-heart gesture, which is now the standard for the Pledge. The original text of the Pledge read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


Saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a way to express loyalty and love for the United States, its values, and its people. It is recited at many public events, including school assemblies, government meetings, and sporting events. However, the Pledge has also been a subject of controversy, with some groups objecting to the phrase "under God," which was added to the Pledge in 1954. Despite this controversy, the Pledge of Allegiance remains a powerful symbol of national unity and pride for many Americans.


On Flag Day in 1923, the National Flag Code was passed. Before June 14, 1923, no official guidelines were governing the display of the United States flag. There were certain attempts to officially protect the United States flag but unfortunately, they have failed. However, any American can show respect for the U.S. flag by following the U.S. Flag Code. 

  • The U.S. flag should not be flown in bad weather unless it is an all-weather flag.
  • If the U.S. flag is displayed at night, it should be illuminated.
  • The U.S. flag should not touch the ground and should not be dipped toward any person or object
  • If the U.S. flag is displayed against a wall, the union (blue section) is at the top left corner.

The U.S. Flag Code also provides rules how to display the American flag with other flags. These rules only applies to U.S. flags flown on American soil.

The world may have changed, politicians come and go, but the meaning of the American flag stayed true, and it has to remain true because everything else would be unpatriotic treason. 

William Driver was a sea captain from Massachusetts who named his 10-by-17-foot flag "Old Glory". Today, it is the nickname of all American flags. Driver's flag was designed to unfurl from a ship's mast and had 24 stars in 1824. By 1860 it had ten additional stars. His flag became famous because it survived multiple attempts to destroy it during the Civil War (1861-1865). William Driver was able to fly the flag over Tennessee Statehouse after Union troops led by the Sixth Ohio had entered the city.

Artists from almost every music genre have shown their love and devotion for our great American flag. The U.S. flag is a symbol of liberty! The flag played an outstanding role in two historic Broadway musicals: Little Johnny Jones and George Washington Jr., written and produced by George M. Cohan. He also starred in the productions. His songs Give my regards to Broadway, Yankee Doodle Dandy and You're a Grand Old Flag were surrounded by American flags.

The American flag is never linked to a single person or a party. It is linked to the nation's past, present, and future. Perhaps the idea of being born free is expressed the best in John Wayne's song "Face the flag" where it says that we should "Face the flag of stars and bars of red and white and blue. A flag that guarantees the rights for men like me and you". Whereas most of us were born free in the homeland or abroad (blood right: jus sanguinis), others seek to join our great American family because of their love and dedication to freedom, liberty, and justice. The stage of being free enables each one of us to find complete expression and to live up our God-given potential in every field of society without fearing oppression or paternalism. However, freedom is not free and it is our all duty to protect and defend the greatest gift of all: liberty.

"The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."

As a strong symbol of liberty and freedom, the American flag has carried the message of these very American values to almost every part of the world. 


The first American flag carried around the world flew on the ships "Lady Washington" and "Columbia" during the pioneering circumnavigation of the globe (1787 - 1790).


The American flag made its way to Japan in 1797 by the American merchant ship Eliza and to Türkiye (new name for Turkey) in 1800 by the frigate George Washington.


The first time the American flag was flown on a captured fortress was on the shores of Tripoli (present day Libya) when it was flown over Fort Derne on April 27, 1805 during the Tripolitan War. It was the fifteen-star, fifteen-stripe flag, a version of the American flag that is known as the Star-Spangled Banner today.


In 1909 an American flag was placed at the North Pole by Robert Peary.


The first American flag at the South Pole was a small 48-Star Flag that was dropped by American explorer Richard Byrd on his flight over the South Pole in 1929.


The flag that flew over the Capitol in Washington on December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked was carried to the Casablanca Conference by President Roosevelt. He called it the "flag of liberation."

The flag that flew over Pearl Harbor that day was present at the Big Three Conference at Potsdam in Germany.


The highest elevation on earth the American flag ever flew is the highest elevation in the world, Mount Everest. It was placed on top of the mountain by Barry Bishop in 1963.


Five years later the flag was placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong.