The History of the American Flag

History of the American Flag

The American Flag has been a focal point of patriotic sentiment for over 240 years. It’s the reason that children recite the Pledge of Allegiance before their classrooms every day and that “Old Glory” inspires the words of our national anthem. It’s also the symbol of a nation that is still growing and evolving. But how did it come to be what it is today?Find out:

The history of the creation of the American flag is a complicated one. Many varying theories exist on its origin, but the most popular theory credits Betsy Ross with sewing the first Stars and Stripes from a pencil sketch by George Washington who personally commissioned her to make the flag. This theory is supported by William Canby, the grandson of Betsy Griscom Ross, who gave public speeches and signed affidavits stating that his grandmother often told family stories about her role in the creation of the flag. However, there is no evidence supporting this claim beyond the much later recollections of Betsy’s descendants.

Stars and Stripes: Exploring the History of the American Flag

Another theory is that Congressman Francis Hopkinson designed the first Stars and Stripes. Although no surviving vouchers support his claim that he was paid for his services, the journals of Congress indicate that he drafted many designs for the flag and other government documents. A 1795 resolution enlarged the flag from thirteen stars to fifteen (to honor Kentucky and Vermont’s entrance into the Union) and this version of the flag was used until 1818. On that date, a third Flag Act started the tradition of adding a new star to the flag after each state enters the Union.

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