June 14, 1777
The Continental Congress approves the design of the American flag.
The maker remains a mystery.
The Final Resolution:
"… that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."
The Continental Congress approved the official design of the national flag in 1777, during the Revolutionary War. Some suggest the British flag inspired the use of red, white and blue, though these colors came to represent virtues: valor, purity, and perseverance.
Who Made The First Flag?
- It remains one of the great mysteries of American history.
- Common lore suggests Betsy Ross, a seamstress in Philadelphia — the city where the Continental Congress met.
- Surprisingly, no facts support or document this story, nor confirm a competing claim that a congressman from New Jersey designed it.
- Historians generally agree Ross likely knew Gen. Washington & sewed flags in her family’s shop.
Pres. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14th “Flag Day” in 1916, but it didn’t become annually recognized until 1949, when Pres. Harry Truman signed it into law.
Why does the flag get folded 13 times? Each fold has a specific meaning; read more at “How To Properly Fold A Flag” on our source page.
The History of the American Flag
- Flag Day
- How To Properly Fold A Flag
Interesting to note from LOC: “Both the United States district court and the court of appeals ruled in favor of the right to refuse to salute the flag. In 1940, however, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the government did have the authority to compel respect for the flag as a central symbol of national unity. Just three years later, on June 14, 1943, the Supreme Court reconsidered its earlier decision, holding that the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment denies the government the authority to compel individuals to salute the American flag or to recite the pledge of allegiance.”
by Jenna Lee,