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TimeLines of Liberty
American History  -  Flags & Flag Day

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Our Flag  -  Flags of Liberty
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 -  Observed on June 14th


Development and history
 of American Flags

The American Flag
Old Glory - Ensign - Standard - Banner - Emblem
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Colours - Red, White, and Blue - Colors -
Stars and Stripes - Star Spangled Banner
National emblem -
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The United States Flag

The Flags of Liberty


     It is unknown who designed the American Flag with the red and white stripes but the stripes were first used by the British East India Company, and had the British union jack in the upper left corner to show allegiance to the Crown yet making a statement as to an individual identity of the colonies.

 

     It is believed that the thirteen stars and thirteen stripes was first designed by Congressman Francis Hopkinson, however his stars had 6 points. Others independently designed differing variations. A design was decided upon in congress and then Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, was commissioned to construct the first official flag. Although it would be difficult to say who actually designed the flag, it will be the flag sewn by Betsy Ross that becomes legend.

1492

Columbus

Expedition
Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean to discover a new route to Asia and India and instead found a new world later called the Americas. Sighting land he set anchor on October 12, 1492.
1700s
Early Colonial

   Various flags were used among the colonies and often reflected the confrontations with the wilderness. Bears, beavers, rattlesnakes and other images became the insignias of the flags.  Mottos were often added to the design; "Hope," "Liberty," "Appeal to Heaven," or "Don't Tread on Me."
   There were many seamstresses that were engaged in the business of sewing flags, Just a few were Cornelia Bridges, Anne King, Margaret Manny, Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross, Anne Ward and Rebecca Young.

1750?

Colonial

Colonial Flag
Before the Revolutionary War the colonies uses various flags such as one now called the Colonial flag. It was red with a red cross in a white canton and in the upper hoist had a globe.
1751

History

Rattlesnakes
Benjamin Franklin wrote a satirical commentary in his Pennsylvania Gazette in 1751 suggesting American Colonists should send rattlesnakes to England to thank them for sending convicted felons to America. That was the first use of the snake in political commentary and later resistance.
1754

History
Benjamin Franklin sketched, carved, then published the first known political cartoon in an American newspaper, in 1754. Using a snake, the head represented New England as the head, with sections for the colonies. Below the snake were the words, "Join or Die."  This became a plea for unity in defense of the colonies during the French and Indian War. Several newspapers throughout the colonies picked up on the cartoon to place it into American culture, in flags and as a symbol of a shared national identity.
1765

History
The snake was again used when the Stamp Act of 1765 brought discontent among the colonies. The Crown wanted greater control and taxes from the Colonies, to help pay off the debt of the French and Indian War. Col. Isaac Barre commented that the colonies hadn't been planted by the care of the British government, they'd been established by people fleeing it.
1765

History

Sons of Liberty
Protesting Colonial treatment by Britain in the late 1760s the Sons of Libery flew a flag of 9 vertical stripes alternating between red and white. The 9 stripes represent the colonies that participated in the Stamp Act Congress of 1765; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina. The 4 white and 5 red stripes symbolized the "45," the number of the pamphlet by English civil-rights activist John Wilkes, published in 1763. John Wilkes' influence on the American Revolution came second only to Tomas Paine's "Common Sense."
The first Sons of Liberty Flag is on display cased in in a controlled environment at the Old State House in Boston, Massachusetts . It is pictured in a July, 1936 National Geographic magazine.
1773

Flag House
The home Betsy Ross lived in, when she sewed the first American Flag, was built perhaps 40 or so years before the birth of America. The house was of the "bandbox" style; one room on each floor with a staircase stepping down through each floor. The front portion was built about 1740 and the piazza and rear section 10 or 20 years later. The room at street-level was usually the business shop of whatever business the occupant gained their living from. Among the occupants during the 18th century were a shoemaker, shopkeeper, apothecary and the most famous an upholsterer, Betsy Ross. She lived in the house from 1773 to 1785.
1774

History
The Sons of Liberty became ever more resentful towards England. Paul Revere in 1774 added a snake to the masthead of The Massachusetts Spy; a snake fighting a British dragon.
1774

History

Taunton Flag
A woman in  Taunton, Massachusetts modified the British Ensign, showing dissention against greater taxation without representation.  The British Ensign was taken and the words "Liberty and Union" were added to the red field to make the Taunton Flag; also known as the Liberty and Union flag. It was raised on Taunton Green on October 21, 1774.
Early War Numerous colonial and regimental flags were designed and used during the Revolutionary War.  
1775

Military

Regimental
Flags

Union Jacks
Regimental Flags were preferred by the Army, as there were no official flag of the union of states during the early years of the American Revolution. One popular design used the front of the Great Seal in the canton.  The national ensign flown by the Navy was called a Jack, and would come to be known as the (U.S.) Union Jack. Some regiments had flags some did not. Documentation of regimental flags used are often non-existent or ambiguous.
1775

Military

Bedford Flag
The oldest known flag that currently exists today of early America is the Bedford flag, dating back earlier into colonial history. It was carried by Nathaniel Page with the minutemen to Concord Bridge on April 19, 1775. Crimson silk 27"x29" nearly square would indicate it was a Cavalry flag. The cloth was a rich red damask with a weave that included pomegranates, grapes, and leaves. Painted on both sides in silver and gold is the design A knights arm reaching from clouds wields a sword. Three cannonballs hang in the air. cresting around the arm is a ribbon on which the words, "Vince Aut Morire," reading bottom to top, meaning, "Conquer or Die."
1775

Colonial



Grand Union Flag

The flag later to be known as the Grand Union Flag had been used as the standard of the British East India Company. One of the earliest widely used by the Colonialists, still believing themselves subjects of the King, yet fighting for their rights.
1775

Military

Appeal to Heaven
The "An Appeal to Heaven" flag was used more as the ensign of the ships that were commissioned by George Washington. The New England Pine was used as a symbol of New England before the European rush to colonize the New World.
1775

Military

Bunker Hill Flag
The Bunker Hill Flag is believed to have been carried by New England troops into the battle at Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. It had a blue field with a white canton that had a red cross with a tree in the upper hoist side of the canton.
1775

Military

Continental Flag
Removing the British Union Jack from the canton of the British Red Ensign a New England Pine on white was placed keeping the red field. A witness of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Colonel John Trumbull, Painted "The Death of Warren" which depicted the red Continental flag. There appears to be no other evidence as to what flag  or flags actually flew at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
1775

History
Rattlesnake Themes became popular among the colonists with the slogan "Don't Tread On Me" often used. The South Carolina Navy used this theme for their ensign.
1775

History


Rattlesnake
designs
A correspondent from Philadelphia in a letter to the Pennsylvania Journal in December of 1775, wrote about the symbolic use of the snake.

     "I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids. She may, therefore, be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders. She is, therefore, an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.
     It was probably the deadly bite of the rattler, however, which was foremost in the minds of its designers, and the threatening slogan "Don't Tread on Me" added further significance to the design."

1775

Military

Gadsen Flag
The Gadsen Flag had the rattlesnake poised to strike from a coil with a yellow field and the motto, "Don't Tread On Me." This flag is sometimes called the Hopkins flag for its designer, Esek Hopkins of Rhode Island.
1775

Military

Culpepper Flag
The Minute Men of Culpepper County used the Culpepper flag. Inside the ribbon banner "The Culpepper Minute Men" followed by the Mottos, "Liberty or Death" then "Don't Tread on Me." It had the coiled snake in the middle with a white field. That Virginia county is now spelled Culpeper County.
1775

Military

Moultrie Flag
Named after Col. William Moultrie the Moultrie Flag was one of the first "American" designs displayed in the South. It flew over Sullivan's Island in the channel leading to Charleston, South Carolina. The flag is blue with a white crescent in the canton that had inside it "Liberty."
1775

Military

2nd Moultrie flag
A second version of the Moultrie Flag has Liberty along the bottom of the flag below the crescent. It is not inconceivable that as banners were replaced the design changed, either for esthetics or ease of sewing. A crescent was a silver emblem worn on the caps of Col. Moultrie's soldiers. "Liberty" honors the SC troops that defended Sullivan's Island, on June 28, 1776, against the British.
1775

Military

Rhode Island
Regiment Flag
Rhode Island's Maritime Colony had the Rhode Island Regiment Flag; 13 green stars in a blue field in the canton (the union corner), an anchor below a ribbon that said, "Hope" on an overall white field. Many believe the the 13 stars may have influenced the design of the first American Flag. The Maritime flag was carried at Brandywine, Trenton, and Yorktown.
1775

Military

Connecticut
Regiment Flag
During the American Revolution, Connecticut's Regimental standards were of the same design but of different colors. Wooster's was to be yellow, Spencer's blue, Putnam's scarlet, Hinman's crimson, Waterbury's white, Parson's azure, Webb's blue (?), and Huntington's orange. The Design was on one side, with Connecticut's shield bearing the motto, "Qui Transtulit Sustinet" (He Who Transplanted Still Sustains). In 1889 the State Librarian, Charles J. Hoadly, suggested the origin of the motto may be from the 80th Psalm; "Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land." The other side has the traditional motto, "An Appeal To Heaven."
1775

Military

Forster Flag   
Forster Family tradition claims the Forster Flag was captured by the Minutemen from the British on April 19, 1775, the first day of the Revolution. If so it had to have been captured by the British from a Colonial regiment prior. The colors and design do not match those used by the British. Perhaps it was flown by a Colonial Regiment that day. We will never know.
1775

U.S. Flag
History

Boston Liberty
The Sons of Liberty met in Hanover Square in Boston at an old elm called the Liberty Tree. They used a flag design that had nine horizontal stripes alternating between red and white. The Boston Liberty Flag was flown above the Liberty Tree. Originally the stripes were vertical until the Revoultionary War when the stripes  were changed, perhaps to conform with the Grand Union Flag and or the navy Union Jack.
1775

Military


Grand Union Flag

During the fall of 1775 Commodore Esek Hopkins issued a set of fleet signals for the first ships of the Continental Navy as they readied for war on the Delaware River. Hopkins also ordered a striped Jack and Ensign to be flown. Navy Lieutenant John Paul Jones may have been the first to raise the colonial navy ensign, later to be known as the Grand Union Flag on December 3, 1775 aboard the Alfred, flagship of Captain Esek Hopkin's Colonial Fleet on the Delaware River. It was the first design used in the American Revolution to resemble our Stars and Stripes. It has 13 alternate red and white stripes with the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner.
1775

Union
Jack


1st Navy
Union Jack

The first U.S. Navy Jack is probably a simple 13 horizontal red and white stripes alternating. It is the one of two possible designs that holds historical evidence. The U.S. Union Jack is a Maritime Flag that is flown by Military Vessels and any other governmental agencies. The Jack is flown on the bow (the front) of the ship and the ensign (the national flag) is flown from the stern (the back) of it when it is moored or anchored. Once it is underway the ensign will be flown from the main mast.
1775

Union
Jack

Don't Tread On Me
Traditional
1st Navy
Union Jack

 The first U.S. Navy Jack had been thought, as is traditionally held, to be that of 13 horizontal red and white stripes alternating, then the image of the rattlesnake over the stripes and the words, "Don't Tread On Me." No evidence supports the tradition. Most likely a confusion was made from the account of when Benjamin Franklin and John Adams writing to the Ambassador of Naples describing the American flag and also that of, "South Carolina, a rattlesnake, in the middle of the thirteen stripes." It is used today in the Navy and held officially as the "First Navy Jack."
1775

Military

Commander
-In-Chief
The personal flag of the Commander-In-Chief during the Revolutionary War is called Washington's Flag 1775. It has 13, 6-sided stars, alternately 3 and 2 stars vertically, on a blue field.
A Nation Declared A flag provides a national Identity, for its territory, commerce, shipping upon the seas, and defense.  A flag is the visual symbolic rally cry, of a nation.
1776
 
U.S. Flag
History


Grand Union Flag
On January 1 the Grand Union Flag is displayed on Prospect Hill.  Sometimes called the Congress Colors, the First Navy Ensign and Cambridge Flag it was the first design to resemble our Stars and Stripes. The Declaration of Independence made the Grand Union Flag inappropriately obsolete. Many improvisations were made among the colonies. Stars in various designs within a blue canton became the custom standard for the American flag.
1776

U.S. Flag
History

Francis Hopkins
Francis Hopkinson claimed to have been first to design the American flag although his had 6-point stars, was similar to the Betsy Ross flag. A circular design may have first been  suggested by John Adams based upon an Adams heirloom seal. Adams design was described a having a circular constellation of the lyre of Orpheus of thirteen stars to represent an endless duration.
1776

U.S. Flag
History

Francis Hopkins
Francis Hopkinson designs a flag similar to the flag that will be adopted on June 14, 1777, except that his has 6-point stars. Apparently Francis Hopkins had designed two or more variations.
1776

U.S. Flag
History


Grand Union Flag
The Grand Union Flag is still used as an unofficial flag as of July 4th, 1776, day of the ratification and then the signing of the Declaration of Independence by President John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson. The others will not sign until August. The Grand Union Flag will remain an unofficial flag of the Revolution until June 14, 1777. It will be decided to use the basic design of the Grand Union Flag, however the severing ties with England required the removal of the British Union Jack.
1776

U.S. Flag
History

Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross meets with the flag committee, of the newly declared United States of America, in a back room of her house, to discuss the construction of the first American Flag. The Betsy Ross flag has 13 stripes alternating red and white with a field of blue in the upper left corner (canton) containing a circle of thirteen white stars.
1776

Military

Regimental
Cambridge headquarters issued General Orders on February 20, 1776 that each regiment must have a Standard,  Regimental Colors as well as colors for each Grand Division. The Regimental Flag was to be small and light, and have on it the Regiment number and a motto.
One regimental colors of the New Hampshire 2nd, was captured by the British and is thought to have the words, "American Congress" in the cent with, "We Are One" below.
1777

Military

Battle of Cowpens
As no official pattern for the stars had been set, the Third Maryland Regiment used a pattern that had a circle of 12 stars with one star in the center. It is known as the Battle of Cowpens Flag as it was flown at that battle in South Carolina in 1781. That actual flag hangs, today, in the Maryland State House.
1777

U.S. Flag

History

Legislation


13 Stars

Design Rules
A resolution in Congress on June 14, 1777 sets the design of the American Flag, "the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white," and that "the Union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation." One star and one stripe for each of the original thirteen states; Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; Virginia, June 25, 1788; New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789;  and Rhode Island, May 29, 1790.
1777

Union
Jack
As of the adoption of the American Flag, on July 14, 1777 the United States Union Jack, the U.S. Maritime flag, became that of the Canton of the American Flag. The U.S. Union Jack is the Navy Jack.
The Union Jack will follow the American Flag adding a star whenever a state is admitted to the Union.
1777

Union
Jack
As the American flag started out without a set pattern the Union Jack also did not have a specific pattern. Variations were used. The Union Jack had 13 stars from June 14, 1777 to May 1, 1795
1777

Military

Stark Flag
The Green Mountain Boys were a militia brigade under General John Stark of New Hampshire. They used a green flag with a blue canton and 13 stars in an arbitrary order, signifying the unified struggle of the Thirteen Colonies for independence.  Tradition has it that the Stark flag was flown at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. However, another flag similar in design was flown or also was flown.
1777

Military

Stark Flag ?
There is another account that a Regimental flag described as having a green field and a blue canton with 13 gold-painted stars arranged in rows had been flown at the Battle of Bennington. However it may have been a later replacement for the flag of the Green Mountain boys, wrongly described, or the regiment had more than one flag flown at the battle. We may never know the truth.
1777

U.S. Flag
History

Filmore Flag

Tradition debunked
The Fillmore Flag had been believed to have been used in the Battle of Bennington, but investigation into the weave of the flag proves otherwise. This design has two stars in the upper corners of the blue canton with the numbers "76" under an arch of 11 stars. Mistakenly called the Bennington Flag it was taken home during the War of 1812 and passed down through Millard Fillmore and is now on display at Vermont's Bennington Museum. .
1777

Military

Brandywine flag  
The Brandywine Flag is so called for having been carried at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777.
1778

U.S. Flag
History

Design

Red, White & Blue Stripes
It was necessary that nations, friendly to the new United States of America, be easily able to recognize American ships to distinguish from pirate ships. American Commissioner in France, Arthur Lee, wrote to Continental Congress President Henry Laurens that U.S. Ship's "colors should be white, red, and blue alternately to thirteen" and have a "blue field with thirteen stars" in the canton. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams as Ambassadors to France had also written a description of United States Flags. "It is with pleasure that we acquaint your Excellency that the flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen stripes, alternately red, white, and blue; a small square in the upper angle, next the flagstaff, is a blue field, with thirteen white stars, denoting a new constellation"
1779

Music

Anthem
Frances Scott Key, author of "The Star Spangled Banner", was born on August 1st in Frederick, Maryland.
                                                                Next Anthem entry
1779

Military


Serapis flag,
Franklin flag,
John Paul Jones
flag             
"Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!" in response to the British request for a surrender. In the Battle of Flamborough Head the ships fire cannons at point blank range. The Bonhomme Richard is sank and it's ensign is blown into the water, However, Captain John Paul Jones and his crew commandeered the British Serapis. The British tried to convince other nations that the Serapis without a nation's flag was a pirate ship and John Paul Jones should be apprehended as such.  Based upon the description by Franklin and Adams in 1778 a version was hastily designed to designate Captain John Paul Jones and the Serapis as American. It has been called the Serapis flag, the Franklin Flag and in 2000 depicted on a U.S. stamp, called the "John Paul Jones flag" stamp.   the Serapis flag uses 8 point stars.  Dutch historical governmental records still held the original sketch of the Serapis flag Dated 5 October 1979. One day before, the Francis Hopkins design, assigned to the Alliance, was entered into the Dutch records.
There were four other similar designs that although were recognized as American did not meet the criteria specified in the Flag Resolution of 1777, which stated the stripes were to be red and white.
See   - 1993   - 2000
  Captured by the British in 1779, Connecticut's twenty gun Warship, the Oliver Cromwell
1781

Military

Battle of Cowpens
The Battle of Cowpens Flag (1777) got its name for being flown by the Third Maryland Regiment at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina.
1781

Military

Guilford Flag
The Guilford Flag has 8 pointed blue stars in a stretched canton of white with stripes of red and blue on the field. It was carried by North Carolina militiamen at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 17, 1781.
1781

Military

Regimental
Rebecca Young was paid for stitching the Standard of the First United States Regiment, commanded by Lt. Col. Josiah Harmar, in October, 1784. The design is lost in memories past.
1783

Military

Pierre L'Enfant
The architect Pierre L'Enfant, later to design the Nation's Capital, sketched a flag in 1783, for a draft of a membership diploma for the Society of the Cincinnati, a Veteran's organization of officers of the Revolutionary War.
1787
 
U.S. Flag
History

Expedition
The American Flag is carried on the sailing vessel of Captain Robert Gray around the tip of South America, to China, and beyond. He discovered and named the Columbia River after his ship.  The discovery by Captain Gray became the basis of America's claim to the Oregon Territory.
1787

President

Commander
in Chief
The ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787 designated the President as also the Commander in Chief, of the Army and Navy. It will not be until 1858 that the first of the two services would symbolize the President's duties with a flag of command.
1795
 
U.S.
Flag

15stars-15stripes
The 1795 Flag was adopted to include those states more recently added to the union, Vermont on March 4, 1791 and Kentucky on June 1, 1792. It had 15 Stars and 15 Stripes.
1795

Union
Jack
The Union Jack following the Canton of the American Flag will fly 15-stars from May 1, 1795 to July 3, 1818.  This Jack flew at the time the War of 1812 began.
1800s
1803
 
U.S. Flag
History

Indian Peace Flag
The Indian Peace Flag was often among the gifts given to peaceful Indian Nations. The U.S. coat of arms was often in the canton.
1806
 
U.S. Flag
History

Display
The "Stars and Stripes" was first raised in Kansas in September, 1806 by a Pawnee Indian Chief.
1812

Military


Regimental

Captain James Lawrence of the Chesapeake gave the following words of exhortation as he lay dying during the War of 1812.  "Don't Give Up The Ship."  Three months later Commodore Perry is victorious at the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry had Captain Lawrence's words, "Don't Give Up The Ship" placed on a banner that had flown over the victory.
1812
 
U.S. Flag
History

ceremonial
The Bennington flag was thought to have been flown at the Battle of Bennington. However a study of the fibers (performed in 1995) showed it was machine-spun cotton, a process not possible until 1800 and not practical until 1810. It was probably made commemorating independence during the years of the War of 1812 or to commemorate the 50th anniversary in 1826. History of the Fillmore family dates the flag firmly back to around that time. The Bennington Flag had 11, 8-point stars curved around the year "76" with two stars in the upper corners, the rest of the field has 13 white and red stripes alternating. It also was called the Filmore Flag as it was passed down through the family of President Millard Filmore
1813
 
U.S. Flag
History


Star Spangled
Banner
Mary Pickersgill, of Baltimore, was commissioned by Major George Armistead, Fort McHenry Commander (paid $405.90), to make a 30 by 42 foot Flag to fly over Fort McHenry. The stars and stripes both were 2 feet wide. It was delivered to For McHenry on August 19, 1813. - See 1814
1814

Music

Anthem

Star Spangled
Banner
From the deck of a British prisoner-exchange ship Francis Scott Key watches the battle at Fort McHenry, in the harbor in Baltimore, Maryland on September 13, 1814. Observing the American Flag still flying over the fort the next morning, as the battle ended, Francis Scott Key writes the words to a poem that will become "The Star-Spangled Banner." He had set the meter to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven". Later set to the music, it officially becomes the national anthem in 1931.
   -  See 1912  - 1931.
1814
 
U.S. Flag
History


Star Spangled
Banner
The inspiration for our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner flag was commissioned by Major George Armistead, Fort McHenry Commander. Passed down and preserved by the Armistead family it was given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1912. It is now on exhibit at the National Museum of American History.     - Fort McHenry Monument
1814

Military
The Easton Flag was presented to the First Regiment of Volunteers during the War of 1812 by citizens of Easton, Pennsylvania. The canton of stars and field of strips were reversed.
1818
 
U.S.
Flag

20 Stars
13 Stripes Fixed
Congress, on April 4th, mandated that the number of stripes be fixed at 13 and that one new star was to be added for each new state effective the July 4th following admission. 
1818
 
U.S.
Flag

20 Stars
The 1818 flag reflects 20 states in the union with the adding of Tennessee, June 1, 1796; Ohio, March 1, 1803; Louisiana, April 30, 1812; Indiana, December 11, 1816; and Mississippi, December 10, 1817..  Congress failed to specify the order of the stars so on July 4th, 1818 there were three star configurations that were simultaneously used
1818
 
U.S.
Flag

Grand Star Flag
One of the 20 star arrangements had 4 rows of 5 stars. Another had four rows of 5 stars with the 2nd and 4th row indented.  The third known as the Grand Star Flag had the 20 stars arranged to outline one larger star.
1818

Union
Jack
The Union Jack begins to fly 20-stars on July 4th, 1818.
1819
 
U.S.
Flag

21 Stars
One star is added to the American Flag for the admission, on December 3, 1818, of the state of Illinois.
1819

Union
Jack
The Union Jack flies 21-stars beginning on July 4th, 1819.
1820
 
U.S.
Flag

23 Stars
Two more stars added for Alabama, December 14, 1819 and Maine, March 15, 1820, now totaling 23. This was the first flag planted on Pikes Peak.
1820

Union
Jack
The Union Jack flies 23-stars commencing on July 4th, 1820.
1822
 
U.S.
Flag

24 Stars
One star added to the American Flag makes 24, one more for Missouri, August 10, 1821.
1822

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1822 the Union Jack begins to fly 24-stars.
1824
 
U.S. Flag
History

Old Glory!
In 1824 the flag that would be given to Capt. William Driver in 1831 that he would name "Old Glory" is sewn together by his family and friends.
1824

Texas

Alamo
In the Texas fight against Mexico, for independence, the Alamo flew a flag with green, white, and red vertical bars. A replica of the flag showed the date 1824, however the date was probably added in commemoration to, "Remember the Alamo!"
1826

U.S. Flag
History

Ceremonial
The Bennington Flag was used for the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, in 1826. Some believe it may have been designed for the Anniversary and not used during the Revolution, as it is typical of the artistic expressions of 19th Century flags.
1829

Music

Hymn
"My Country 'Tis of Thee" was sung for the first time at the Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts on July 4, 1829.
1831
 
U.S. Flag
History

Old Glory!
Captain William Driver, a shipmaster of Salem, Massachusetts, coins the name "Old Glory".  Preparing for another of his voyages aboard the brig CHARLES DOGGETT he was presented with a flag of twenty four stars. Gloriously unfurling to the ocean breeze, Captain Driver, in patriotic exclaim, cries "Old Glory!" "Old glory" would accompany him on his ship twice around the world and be displayed by him regularly at patriotic events and holidays.  - 1837    - 1862
1834

Military



regimental

Army Artillery units began to use the Stars and Stripes officially in 1834. The Army Artillery units previously had a preference for regimental flags. General Regulations for the Army specified the standard to be silk, 27 inches hoist by 29 inches fly, with a yellow silk fringe, carried on a 9-foot lance tipped with a spearhead, of basic design that is still used by the U.S. Army today. The Infantry began to use the same flag in 1842.

1835

Texas

Texas Stand
The Gonzales Banner was flown during the Texas war for Independence from Mexico. Requesting the return of a cannon seized during the battle of Gonzales, four years earlier on January 1, 1831, the Texans responded with a banner that read "Come And Take It."
1837
 
U.S. Flag
History

Golden Fringe
The first use of a golden fringe on the American Flag is recorded in 1835.
1836
 
U.S.
Flag

25 Stars
For Arkansas becoming a state on June 15, 1836, one more star. The U.S. Flag now numbers 25 stars. 
1836

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1836 another state is admitted to the Union so the Union Jack begins to fly 25 stars.
1837
 
U.S.
Flag

26 Stars
The U.S. Flag now has 26 stars with the addition of Michigan becoming a state on January 26, 1837. 
1837
 
U.S. Flag
History

Great Star Flag
War of 1812 Naval war hero, Captain Samuel C. Reid suggested an arrangement of stars into one large star pattern.  Such was a popular 19th century design.
1837
 
U.S. Flag
History

Old Glory!
Retiring in Nashville Captain William Driver brings his treasured flag from his sea days with him.  "Old Glory" became known by many around Nashville.  When Tennessee seceded from the Union, Rebel soldiers sought to destroy "Old Glory".  Repeated searches failed to produce the banner.    - 1831    - 1862
1837

Union
Jack
26 stars fly on the Union Jack beginning on July 4th, 1837.
1837

Military

Golden Fringe
The Army officially used a golden fringe on the American Flag in 1837. This is the only thread to attempt to support a meaning for a gold fringe, otherwise there is no symbolic meaning of a golden fringe on the American Flag.
1842

Military

Gen. Fremont
In 1841, General John Fremont Married Jessie, daughter of Senator Thomas H. Benton. Jessie designed and sewed the flag General Fremont would carry, as he explored the west during the 1840s. It was not usual for the army to carry the national flag at that time.
1842

Military

regimental
Army Infantry units began to use the Stars and Stripes officially in 1842.  The Infantry previously had a preference for regimental flags.  Artillery units had been using it since 1834.
1845
 
U.S.
Flag

27 Stars
Florida's admission to the Union on March 3, 1845 increases the stars on the flag to 27. 
1845

Union
Jack
27 stars are flown on the Union Jack beginning on July 4th, 1845.
1846
 
U.S.
Flag

28 Stars
The 1846 Flag had 28 stars with the addition of Texas on December 29, 1845. One design has 4 rows of 7 stars in the union. 
1846

Union
Jack
Beginning on July 4th, 1846 even seven on four rows for 28 stars on the Union Jack.
1846

Union
Jack

California
In 1846 a flag was made and flown over the plaza of the adobe home of Mexican General Vallejo. Brown muslin was donated a four inch strip from a red petticoat was sewn across the bottom. A star was drawn in the corner, influenced by the Texas star. A crude drawing of a grizzly bear was placed next to the star.
1847
 
U.S.
Flag

29 Stars
The 29 Star Flag has one more star for Iowa becoming a state on December 28, 1846. 
1847
 
U.S. Flag History
Military

29 Star Diamond
The diamond pattern becomes standard on garrison flags in 1845. One star is added in 1847 due to Iowa becoming a state. The pattern of the stars have not as yet been fixed.
1847

Union
Jack
Beginning on July 4th, 1847, 29 stars fly on the Union Jack.
1848
 
U.S.
Flag

30 Stars
The 30 Star Flag adds yet another star for Wisconsin's statehood on May 29, 1848. 
1848

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1847, adding a star and a row to even 30 stars flying on the Union Jack.
1849
 
U.S. Flag
History

Yacht Ensign
An American Yacht ensign was created in 1849 and has a foul anchor inside a circle of 13 stars in the union.  In 1847 Commodore Stevens suggested to the Sec. of the Treasury that non-commercial vessels be exempt from inspection to reduce the manpower required to inspect every ship. The Yacht ensign when flown, allowed for ready identification. The official American Flag or the American Yacht ensign may be flown on non commercial ships, however the American Yacht ensign may only be flown in American waters.
1851
 
U.S.
Flag

31 Stars
California becoming a state on September 9, 1850 brings the flag to 31 stars. 
1851

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1851, 31 stars fly on the Union Jack.
1854

Music

Sousa Marches
John Philip Sousa is born on November 6th, 1854, in Washington D. C..   In 1896 John Philip Sousa will compose "The Stars and Stripes Forever".    - 1896   - 1897   - 1932
1858
 
U.S.
Flag

32 Stars
Minnesota on May 11, 1858 becomes a state, to give us the 32-star Flag.
1858

President

Commander
in Chief
The Bureau of Navigation's Signals for the Use of the United States Navy in 1858 wrote provisions for the designation of the Commander in Chief's presence aboard a ship by hoisting the U.S. Union Jack at the head of the mainmast.
1858

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1858, 32 stars begin to fly on the Union Jack.
1859
 
U.S.
Flag

33 Stars
Oregon facilitates the 33-star Flag when becoming a state on February 14, 1859.
1859

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1859, the Union Jack gets another star to fly 33.
A Nation Divided The Civil War brought brother against brother. The issues were State Rights and Slavery. The flags of the Confederate States of America became void upon the victory of the Union Army, however they remain solidly placed in annals of American History.
1860

Confederate
During the South Carolina secession convention in December, 1860 many "secession flags" were flown. One of them is called the "South Carolina Sovereignty" or "Secession Flag."
1861
 
U.S.
Flag

34 Stars
The 1861 Flag had 34 stars in the blue union accounting for Kansas becoming a state on January 29, 1861. President Lincoln, in the face of states seceding from the Union, refused to allow removal of any stars.
1861
 
U.S. Flag
Military

Fort Sumter Flag
The Fort Sumter flag was flying over the for in Charleston on April 12, 1861 when the Civil War began. More than 500,000 men from the North and the South would die before it would be unfurled and fly there again in 1865. Garrisons used a diamond design for the stars.
1861

Military

Cavalry Guidon
The Cavalry Guidon with gold stars and a swallowtail was carried by the cavalry during the Civil War. General Custer and others used this version through the next few decades of the wild west.  - 1862
1861

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1861, 34 stars fly the Union Jack
1861

Military

2d Rg Dragoons
Dated after July 4th, 1861 into 1862 is the standard of the 2nd Regiment Dragoons. The surviving flag is quite tattered showing at least half the stars, which allowed the dating to circa 1861. It had an eagle with gold stars above and gold ribbon below with the words "Second Regiment Dragoons." In 1862 guidons were specified to be in the form of the Stars and Stripes but with stars in gold in concentric circles and one star in each corner of the canton. Another rendition showed 13 gold stars.
1861

Confederate

Bonnie Blue
A variety of flags were flown by southerners during the Civil War. During the early months of 1861 the "Bonnie Blue Flag" was used as an unofficial flag for the Confederacy.
1861

Confederate

"Stars and Bars"
The first official Confederate Battle Flag had three stripes, red, white, and red with 7 stars circled in a blue field placed in the canton. It first flew in Montgomery, Alabama by the United Confederate States of America from March 1861 to may of 1863, with four variations as stars were added for states joining the Confederacy. The first variation with 7 stars flew from May 4, 1861 to May 21, 1861. Similarity on the battlefield caused confusion ending its use. The seven stars were for the seven original Confederate States; South Carolina, December 20, 1860; Mississippi, January 9, 1861; Florida, January 10,1861; Alabama, January 11, 1861; Georgia, January 19, 1861; Louisiana, January 26, 1861; and Texas, February 1, 1861.
1861

Confederate

Confederate
Navy Jack
The first Confederate Navy Jack was 7 white stars on a light blue field.  It flew from 1861 to 1863.
1861

Confederate

Gen. Lee's HQ
General Robert E. Lee's wife, Mary Custis Lee may have sewn the Headquarters flag that he flew much of the Civil War; about 1862 to 1864. One story says she chose the pattern to resemble the Bible's Ark of the Covenant.
1861

Confederate

Stars and Bars
The second variation of the Stars and Bars had 9 stars flying from May 21, 1861 to July 2, 1861.
1861

Confederate

Stars and Bars
The third variation of the Stars and Bars had 11 stars and was flown from July 2, 1861 to November 1861.
1861

Confederate

Stars and Bars
The fourth version of the Stars and Bars had 13 stars and flew from November 28, 1861 to May 1, 1863
1861

Confederate

Confederate
Battle Flag
The Confederate Battle flag (Southern Cross) was the most known of all the Confederate flags. Confederate troops were more likely to have carried this battle flag. The 13 stars represented the eleven states actually in the Confederacy as well as Kentucky and Missouri.
The battle flag had a red field with a blue diagonal cross (x) outlined in white. One white star in the middle of the cross with three more on each of the four wings.
1862
 
U.S. Flag
History


Old Glory!
Union forces captured Nashville, Tennessee and raised the American flag over the capital. People began asking Captain Driver if "Old Glory" still existed. With Union soldiers to accompany him Captain Driver went home and ripping at the seams of his bedcover exposed the 24-star "Old Glory"!    - 1831   - 1837
1862

Military

Cavalry Guidon
The 34 Star Cavalry Guidon was used at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6th & 7th, 1862. Shiloh was the name of a Church at Pittsburgh's Landing, Tennessee.
This Battle Fag is in private possession and had been displayed in Oregon on the Antique Road show. - 1861
1862
 
U.S. Flag
History


Old Glory!
At sixty years of age Captain Driver climbed the capitol tower to fly his Old Glory as the Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and saluted.  Captain Driver is buried in the old Nashville Cemetery and by an act of Congress is the 3rd place authorized to fly the flag 24 hours a day.    - 1831   - 1837    - 1862
1862

Music

Hymn
The "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe is first published in the Atlantic Monthly.
1863
 
U.S.
Flag

35 Stars
Flag with 35 stars is authorized with the addition of West Virginia joining the Union on June 20, 1863.
1863

President
It was designated by the Navy in 1863 that the Ensign (American Flag) would fly on the head of the mainmast instead of the Jack to designate the presence of the President.
1863

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1863, 35 stars, 5 rows of seven, fly the Union Jack.
1863

Confederate

2nd Confederate
Flag Design
The second official flag of the Confederate States was adopted on May 1st, 1863. The Confederate Battle Flag is placed as the canton on a white field. This flag was often mistaken for a white flag of surrender. Imagine this flag hanging limp on a staff or mast during a time of no breeze.
1863

Confederate

2nd Confederate
Navy Jack
The second Confederate Navy Jack was used in the Confederate navy beginning in 1863.  Although it has never been the national flag of the Confederacy, it has become the more commonly recognized symbol of the South.  It has more recently been illegitimately used by neo-nazi and other bigot organizations with that use being denounced by the Southern States. The Confederate Navy Jack was taken from the Confederate Battle flag and stretched to a rectangular flag.  Note that this flag is not the "Stars and Bars," which refers to the national flag of the Confederacy.
1864

President
It was designated the Jack would fly on the head of the mainmast in 1864, instead of the Ensign (American Flag) to designate the presence of the President.
1865
 
U.S.
Flag

36 Stars
36 Star Flag becomes the official U.S. flag by the statehood of Nevada on October 31, 1864.
1865

President

It was designated in 1865, the Ensign (American Flag) would fly on the head of the mainmast instead of the Jack to designate the presence of the President.
1865

Union
Jack
36 stars on the Union Jack as of July 4th, 1865.
1865

Military

Gen. Custer
During the battle at Dinwiddie Court House near Petersburg, Virginia on March 31st, 1885 General George Armstrong Custer, after delivery on the battlefield, took his personal Battle Flag and on horse-back, charged the Confederate lines of General George Pickett, facilitating Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Court House a few days later.  The Battle flag 5'8"x3', was handmade of silk with a swallow-tail, two horizontal bars of red over white with hand cut white, cross sabers identifying it as a cavalry flag. Custer's battle flag was made by his wife Elizabeth 'Libbie' Custer and was kept by him until his death at Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. Custer's Flag on June 23, 2007 sold for $896,250.
1865

Confederate

3rd Confederate
Flag Design
On March 4th, 1865 the Confederate States of America adopted a third design as their nation's flag. A red bar was added on the fly of the previous white field.
1865

Military
With some enlarging and redesign of the anchor the personal flag of Secretary of the Navy has kept the same basic design, white anchor & 4 stars on a blue field, since it was adopted in 1866. In parades, indoor or displayed on a staff it is trimmed with golden yellow fringe, with golden yellow cord and tassels. The staff is topped with a brass spread eagle.
1867
 
U.S.
Flag

37 Stars
The U.S. Flag has 37 stars in 1867 by the addition of Nebraska becoming a state on March 1.
1867

Union
Jack
Union Jack has 37 stars flying, as of July 4th, 1867.
1867

President
In 1867, it was designated the Jack would fly on the head of the mainmast instead of the Ensign (American Flag) when the President was present.
1869

USPS

Stamp
The first time the American Flag is displayed on a postage stamp was in 1869.
1870

President
It was designated in 1870, the Ensign (American Flag) would fly on the head of the mainmast instead of the Jack to signal the presence of the United States President. This remained the policy until 1882.
1876

U.S. Flag
History


Star Spangled
Banner
In a letter to Georgiana Armistead Appleton, daughter of Fort McHenry Commandant, Lt. Col. George Armistead, Caroline Pickersgill Purdy recounted the details of the making of the Star Spangled Banner flag.

It was made by my mother, Mrs. Mary Pickersgill, and I assisted her. My grandmother, Rebecca Young, made the first flag of the Revolution under George Washington's directions, and for this reason my mother was selected by Commodore Barney and General Stricker to make this star-spangled banner, being in exceedingly patriotic woman. This flag, I think, contained four hundred yards of bunting, and my mother worked many nights until twelve o'clock to complete it in a given time.

1876

U.S. Flag
History

Ceremonial
The Centennial Flag of 1876 was an unofficial patriotic version of the Stars and Stripes, representing a nation with new hope.
1876

Flag House
A German immigrant family, Mund, lived in the Betsy Ross House at the beginning of the 19th century runing various businesses such as a tailor's shop, a cigar shop and a tavern.  By the time of the Centennial celebrations the house was well known as the place where Betsy Ross sewed the first American Flag. Several of Betsy's surviving family, daughters, grandchildren, and a niece had corroborated the location of the historical event. An advertisement for the Mund Tavern read, "Original Flag House, Lager, Wine and Liquors. This is the house where the first United States flag was made by Mrs. John Ross."
1877
 
U.S.
Flag

38 Stars
The 38-star flag debuts on July 4, 1877, after the admission of Colorado on August 1, 1876.
1877
 
U.S.
Flag

38 Stars
Prior to 1912 the arrangement of the stars were not fixed allowing various designs being official at the same time.
1877

Union
Jack
One more state is added, the Union Jack has 38 stars flying, as of July 4th, 1877.
1882

Presidential
flag
The first fFlag specified for the President was introduced by the Navy by General Order 300 of August 9, 1882. Blue with the U.S. Coat of Arms in the center; the eagle was in white and the shield in color with an arc of 13 white stars above and across the wing tips.
1885

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
The concept of a day to celebrate the flag is thought to have originated with BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher who arranged for students in the Fredonia, Wisconsin School District to observe June 14 as a flag birthday.  June 14, 1885 is the 108th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. Over the next several years Cigrand continues to advocate the observance in magazines and newspapers and public addresses.
1886

U.S. Flag
History

Old Glory!
Captain William Driver who held and named the flag that was presented to him in 1831, Old Glory, died in 1886. Prior to his death he gave "Old Glory" to his daughter and said, "Mary Jane, this is my ship flag, Old Glory. It has been my constant companion. I love it as a mother loves her child. Cherish it as I have cherished it." Captain William Driver was buried in the historic Nashville Cemetery. His marker, an anchor leaned against a vine covered tree, was his own design. His grave site is one of the places where our "Old Glory" may be flown day and night.
1889

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
A New York kindergarten teacher, George Balch, organized ceremonies for the children of his school. His Flag Day was later adopted by New York's State Board of Education.
1889

Flag House
A group of citizens formed the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association in 1889 to raise money to buy the Betsy Ross House to prevent destruction by development. Lifetime memberships would sell for 10¢ and various membership plans would be developed.
1890
 
U.S.
Flag

43 Stars
Flag with 43 stars is born, adding one more star for each of five new states; North Dakota, November 2, 1889; South Dakota, November 2, 1889; Montana, November 8, 1889; Washington, November 11, 1889 and Idaho, July 3, 1890.
1890

Union
Jack
Five more states are added in 1889 & 1890, bringing the stars on the Union Jack to 43 stars flying, as of July 4th, 1890.
1891
 
U.S.
Flag

44 Stars
One star for the admission of Wyoming, on July 10, 1890 gave us the 44-star flag.
1891

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania held a Flag Day celebration on June 14, 1891.
1891

Union
Jack
1891 brings one more star to the Union Jack. 44 stars flying, as of July 4th, 1891.
1892

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day on June 14, 1892.
1892

Pledge

Pledge of Allegiance
The "Pledge of Allegiance" is written by Francis Bellamy and first published in "The Youth's Companion," The words, "under God" were added later, on June 14, 1954.
1892

Flag House
In 1892 Charles Weisgerber painted the Birth of Our Nation's Flag, a painting of Betsy Ross presenting her newly constructed flag to George Washington. Weisberger was a founding member of the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association. Copies of the painting would be used for fund-raising to purchase the Betsy Ross House.
1892

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

The reciting of the "Pledge of Allegiance" is born when published in The Youth's Companion magazine, with suggested words (entry above) for students to repeat on the next Columbus Day.

Original (1892) Version of the "Pledge of Allegiance"       - 1923   - 1954

I Pledge Allegiance to my flag 
and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

1892

Military

Assistant Secretary
of the Navy
Colors of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy is reversed from that of the Secretary's flag. Created in 1892 the reversing of the colors has become the standard for the first and second ranking civilian officials in the U.S. Government.  The Under Secretary rank was not created until 1940. As of 2009 there are four Assistant Secretaries below the Under Secretary.
1893

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
At the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach, historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopts a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; others in authority; and private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th.
1893

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
Colonel J Granville Leach, historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, recommends that every June 14th be known as 'Flag Day'. He further suggests that on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, giving each child a small Flag.
1893

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
On May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the Flag resolution of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. 
1893

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
Dr. Edward Brooks, Superintendent of Philadelphia Public Schools, directs that Flag Day exercises be held June 14, in Independence Square. Students were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, patriotic songs were sung and speeches delivered.
1894
 
U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
New York's governor issues a directive that on June 14 the Flag is to be displayed on all public buildings.
1894

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
The American Flag Day Association is organized to promote Flag Day and the holding of appropriate exercises.
1894

U.S. Flag
History

Flag Day
Under the auspices of the American Flag Day Association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day is held in Chicago, Illinois.   More than 300,000 children participated in ceremonies at Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks on June 14th.
1896
 
U.S.
Flag

45 Stars
Utah's admission to the Union, on January 4, 1896, adds another star to the Flag for a total of 45 stars.
1896

Music

Marches
John Philip Sousa, the King of March, gains the inspiration to write "The Stars and Stripes Forever" while on a return voyage from a European vacation with his wife.   - 1854   - 1897   - 1932
1896

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1896, 45 stars fly on the Union Jack..
1897

Music

Marches
On May 14 the "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa was performed for the first time in Philadelphia.   - 1854   - 1896   - 1932
1897

legislation

flag
desecration
Public perception of flag misuse in commerce and politics during the late 1800's led to a flag protection movement.  After failing to obtain federal legislation the movement turned to the individual states for flag protection. Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota became the first States to adopt flag desecration statutes. by 1932 all States will have adopted flag desecration legislation.
1892

Flag House
In 1898 Charles Weisgerber moved his family into the Betsy Ross house and opened two rooms to the public.  The living room was a souvenir shop for raising funds. The room at the back of the house, where Betsy and the Flag committee met, was available for viewing.
1898

Presidential
flag
The Army used it own design for a Presidential flag as well as a presidential color. Both were introduced by a War Department general order in 1898. Each had the U.S. coat of arms within a dark blue star bordered in white with by 45 stars, 47 after 1907, in a scattered circle around it, and four stars in the corners. The flag was larger, constructed from bunting and was flown from a fixed pole. The color was made of silk; was gold trimmed with a silver bullion fringe, a red, white, and blue cord and tassels; and was mounted on a pike with a gold spread eagle on top.
1899

Presidential
flag

Without changing the official description the President's Navy Standard the flags changed to having the U.S. coat of arms in full color on printed representations. The change to color happened sometime between 1885 and 1899.
1900s
1901

Presidential
flag

The Army follows orders to adopt the colorful design for the President's Flag in 1901, for particular use, as it was shown in the Flag of Maritime Nations,published in 1899. The President's Flag was also lengthened to a new proportion. (10.2 feet x 16 feet)
1901

Presidential
flag

President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1901 directed that the Navy version serve as the only flag of the President.  The Army adopted the Navy design for the flag but kept the design from 1898 for the color.
1907

U.S. Flag
History

Star Spangled Banner flag
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag had been kept in the possession of the Armistead family until it was loaned to the Smithsonian for an official display in 1907.
1907

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Descretion
The U.S. Supreme Court held up the States' rights to enact flag desecration laws under general police power to safeguard public safety and welfare, even though the flag was a federal creation. Halter v. Nebraska, 205 U.S. 34 (1st Amendment Rights were not brought into question in this case.)
1908
 
U.S.
Flag
46 Stars
46 Stars
The 46-star Flag is adopted including one star for the 46th state of Oklahoma, November 16, 1907.
1908

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1908 the Union Jack with 46 stars is hoisted.
1909

U.S. Flag
History

Expedition
Robert Peary's wife sews the Flag he places at the North Pole.
1912
 
U.S.
Flag

48 Stars
The addition of two new states, New Mexico, January 6, 1912 and Arizona, February 14, 1912, brings the total of states to 48, An official arrangement of the stars in the blue union is set with the 48-star Flag.  The stars are displayed as 6 rows of 8 stars. The 48-star flag had the longest period of any fixed star flag, from 1912 to 1960 until the 50-star flag matched it's use in years, in 2008.
1912

U.S. Flag
History

Design
Rules
On June 24, 1912 President Taft by Executive Order established proportional attributes for the American Flag.  The star arrangement is set to be in 6 horizontal rows of 8 stars requiring that 1 point of each to be upward. Previously there was not a particular design as long as the stars equaled the number specified.
1912

U.S. Flag
History

Star Spangled Banner flag
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag, commissioned by Major George Armistead in 1814 is given to the Smithsonian Institution, by the Armistead family on December 19, 1912. It is now on exhibit at the National Museum of American History.
1912

President

In 1912 President Taft by Executive Order 1556 directed the "the color of the field of the President's Flag shall be blue."
1912

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1912 two more stars fly. The Union Jack with 48 stars will fly longer than any other.
1914
 
Flag Day

Flag Day
Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a Flag Day address saying the Flag spoke to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself." 
1914

U.S. Flag
History

Star Spangled Banner flag
The Star Spangled Banner Flag bore the autograph of Lt. Col. George Armistead and the date of the British bombardment of 1814. In 1914 Preservation work is performed by Mrs. Amelia Fowler and other restoration experts. Reduced in size the reinforcement techniques has kept it preserved for American prosperity.
1916
 
Flag Day

Flag Day
After 30 years of state and local celebrations, President Woodrow Wilson, by Proclamation establishes Flag Day, the anniversary of the 1777 Flag Resolution, June 14th, 1777.
1916

Presidential
flag
President Wilson by Executive Order 2390 decreed a single design for the President's Flag in both services to be Blue with the Coat of Arms from the Presidential seal with a white star in each corner. The eagle looked toward the fly rather then to the hoist as in the national coat of arms.
A smaller size was used by the Army for the color.
1918

Service
Flags

President Woodrow Wilson approved a suggestion by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defenses that mothers who lost a son in the war would wear a gold star on the traditional Black mourning arm band leading to the traditional covering of the Service flag's blue star with a gold star to signify a service member of the family has died. A blue star is for hope and pride while a gold star is for the sacrifice in the cause of liberty and freedom.
1922

U.S. Flag
History

Old Glory!
Captain William Driver's "Old Glory" was presented to President William G Harding by Driver's daughter Mary Jane, in 1922.  It was then sent to the Smithsonian Institute and is now preserved under glass.
1923
Flag Day
President Woodrow Wilson proclaims a day of national celebration calling it Flag Day. 
1923

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

Original Version
The first National Flag Conference is held in Washington D.C., on June14.  It was resolved that for clarity, the words "the Flag of the United States" replace "my flag" in the Pledge of Allegiance. All other subsequent suggested changes were never formally adopted.

I Pledge Allegiance to my flag
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

1923

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

2nd Version
2nd Version of the "Pledge of Allegiance"    - 1892    - 1954

I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

1925

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Golden Fringe
The Attorney General had said the use of fringe and the number of stars "...is at the discretion of the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy..." - quoting from footnotes in prior volumes of Title 4 of the United States Code law books. From that source some claim a fringed flag is a military ensign rather than civilian, however, the Army Institute of Heraldry, the custodian of the flag designs say there is no inference of symbolism in the use of the Fringe.   Several court cases have upheld that conclusion. - McCann v. Greenway, 542 F. Supp. 647
1927

Legislation

Proclaim
The U.S. Congress issues a resolution that requests President Calvin Coolidge to issue a proclamation that the U.S. Flag is to be displayed on all government buildings on November 11th and invite the people to observe Armistice Day in Schools and Churches. Armistice Day will become Veteran's Day.
1931

Music

Anthem
"The Star-Spangled Banner", words by Francis Scott Key, officially becomes the national anthem. Key's poem was placed to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven".
1931

U.S. Flag
History

Court
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled State statutes that prohibit display of a "red flag," protesting government, are unconstitutional, infringing upon the protestor's 1st Amendment rights.  Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 This is the court's first ruling that "symbolic speech" is free speech protected by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
1932

Music

Marches
At 77 years of age, John Philip Sousa dies after a rehearsal where he conducted his last piece, "The Stars and Stripes Forever", for the Ringgold Band in Reading, Pennsylvania.
    - 1854    - 1896   - 1897
1837

Flag House
The Betsy Ross House showing much wear and tear needed restoration. Radio Mogul, A. Atwater Kent donated $25,000 to purchase and restore the house. The architect commissioned for the restoration was Richardson Brognard Okie. Original materials were used when possible, otherwise they were obtained from demolished homes of the same period. After completion of the restoration all eight rooms were opened to the public on Flag Day, June 14, 1937.
1941

Flag House
Atwater Kent had purchased the two properties to the west of the Betsy Ross House for a "civic garden."
Kent, a Philadelphia citizen donated the properties and the the home of Betsy Ross, known as the American Flag House, to the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1942

Pledge

legislation
The Pledge of Allegiance is officially recognized by the U. S. Congress in 1942.
1942

U.S. Flag
History

legislation
President Roosevelt signs into law Federal Flag Code, 36 U.S.C. 171 et seq. on June 22, 1942. The code provides for uniform guidelines for display and respect of the American Flag. Intended as a guide for civilian voluntary compliance, it holds no enforcement provisions nor penalties.
1942

Service
flags
During World War II displaying the service flags became more popular.  In 1942, the Blue Star Mothers of America was founded as a veteran service organization becoming a part of the events that provided care packages to military members serving overseas.
1943

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

Court



The Supreme Court rules that school children can not be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  Laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom exist in only half of the States.

Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion.

- Justice Jackson, West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624

1943

Military

Under Secretary
of the Navy
The position of Under Secretary of the Navy was created in 1940 as the new second in command position. Established in 1943, the personal flag for the Under Secretary was the same as the Secretary's flag but with a red field. James V. Forrestal was the first to the Flag of the Under Secretary of the Navy.
1945

Presidential
flag

President Franklin D. Roosevelt inquired of the War and Navy Department whether his flag was still appropriate after the recent creation of five-star generals and admirals. Although the fours stars on the President's flag was decorative without designating rank a revision was ordered anyway. President Truman issued Executive Order 9646 making changes to the coat of arms as well. The new flag was first hoisted on October 27, 1945 when President Truman boarded the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt to witness a fleet review in New York City. With only increases of stars as new states were added the President's flag is still in use today
1945

U.S. Flag
History

Pearl Harbor
A flag that had flown over Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 flew again, but over the White House on the day the Japanese accepted the terms of surrender, August 14, 1945. That same flag would be present at the Charter Meeting of the United Nations.
1948
 
U.S.
Flag

Rules
Presidential Proclamation No.2795, July 2, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland.
1948

Vice President
In 1948, President Truman, by executive order, mandated the creation of a Vice Presidential Seal and Flag.  All Vice Presidents did not like the design being smaller with the eagle wings in a submissive position. Vice President Humphrey is believed to have said,"the eagle looked like a wounded quail.
1949
 
Flag Day

Flag Day
It was established by Congress, and signed by President Truman on August 3, 1949, that each year a National Flag Day is to be proclaimed, by the President, to be observed on June 14. (63 Stat. 492),
1954
 
U.S.
Flag

Rules
Public Law 83-319, March 26 authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the Flag House Square, Albemarle and Pratt Streets, Baltimore Maryland.
1954

Pledge

legislation
Congress enacts that the words "under God" be added to the "Pledge of Allegiance." President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."
1954

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

Current Version
Today's Version of the "Pledge of Allegiance"    - 1892    - 1923

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America and to the Republic 
for which it stands, one Nation under God, 
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
 

1958

U.S. Flag
History


Stars

Exhibit
With talk of Alaska and Hawaii becoming states Robert Heft designed the arrangement of the current 50 Star Flag as a school project.  45 years later it is his hope that should a 51st state be admitted that his 51 star design be adopted. The first 50-star Flag, constructed by Heft, has flown over every state capital building and over 88 U.S. embassies with a patch to evidence the attack on the embassy in Saigon in 1967. It also is the only flag to have flown over the Whitehouse during the terms of five different Presidents.
1959
 
U.S.
Flag

49 Stars
The admission of Alaska to the Union on January 3, 1959, facilitates the 49-star Flag.
1959

U.S. Flag
History

Design
President Eisenhower, on January 3, 1959 by Executive Order, provides that the stars be arranged in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically. The 2nd, 3rd, and 5th rows of stars are indented.
1959
 
U.S.
Flag
Hawaii becomes the 50th state on August 21, 1959, requiring the addition of the 50th star.
1959

U.S. Flag
History

Design
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on August 21, 1959 by Executive Order, provides that the 50-star flag will be arranged in nine rows staggered horizontally and eleven columns of stars staggered vertically. The nine rows alternate with 6 and 5 stars with the row of 5 stars indented.
1959

Union
Jack
On July 4th, 1959 after 47 years one more star is added. 49 stars fly on the Union Jack.
1960
 
U.S.
Flag

50 Stars
On July 4th the 50-star flag makes its debut in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A 50th star was added to the American flag in honor of Hawaii's August 21, 1959 admission into the Union.
1960

Union
Jack
One more star is added. 50 stars fly on the Union Jack from July 4th, 1960 until October 12, 1975.
1961

U.S. Flag
History

Rules
Presidential Proclamation No.3418, June 12, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, Virginia.
1963
Expedition
Barry Bishop planted the American Flag upon the success as the first American to ascend to the top of Mount Everest in 1963.
1964

Military

Chief of Naval Operations
The CNO, Chief of Naval Operations rank was created in 1915 but the flag for the position was not established until 1964. The Flag follows the same basic patter as the flag for the Chief of Staff of the Army. The Chief of Naval Operations is a four-star Admiral.
1964

Military

Vice Chief
of Naval Operations
The Vice Chief of Naval Operations is also a four-star Admiral. His flag is like that of the Chief except with four sections divided diagonally.
1965
 
U.S.
Flag

Rules
Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts.
1965

Flag House
An annex building was constructed on the property of the Betsy Ross House in 1965.
1966
 
Flag Week

legislation
A joint resolution of Congress on June 9th, 1966, requests the president declare the week June, 14th, as National Flag Week. The proclamation is to call upon American Citizens to display the flag during the week. (80 Stat. 194)
1968

legislation
A flag burning incident in New York's Central Park that protested the Vietnam War prompted federal law to make illegal to willfully cast contempt onto "any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning or trampling upon it."
1969

U.S. Flag
History

Expedition
Neil Armstrong plants the American Flag on the moon on July 20th, 1969.
1969

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Desecration
A ruling by the Supreme Court restrains New York from convicting a person based upon verbal remarks against the flag. Mr. Street was arrested, after civil rights leader James Meredith had been killed, when he burned the flag, stating that "we don't need no damn flag," if the government could allow Meredith to be killed. The court ignored the flag burning and ruled only that the government did not have sufficient interest to regulate verbal assault against the flag.  - Street v. New York, 394 U.S. 576
1970
 
U.S.
Flag

Rules
Presidential Proclamation No.4000, September 4, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the The White House, Washington, D.C..
1970 -
1980


legislation
Some 20 states enact laws to focus on physical mutilation rather than commercial, political, verbal abuse and to more align with the federal law, in their flag desecration legislation.
1971

U.S. Flag
History

Rules
Presidential Proclamation No.4064, July 6, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C..
1971

POW/MIA
Mrs. Mary Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a flag symbol to honor POW/MIAs. She contacted Norman Rivkees, Vice-President of Annin & Company who helped design and put into production the POW/MIA flag.
1972
 
U.S.
Flag

Rules
Presidential Proclamation No.4131, May 5, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at United States Customs Ports of Entry.
1972

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Desecration
A Massachusetts law was held unconstitutional as "void for vagueness." Massachusetts had passed a law criminalizing publicly treating the flag of the United States with contempt. The case was prompted by the wearing of a cloth replica of the flag on the seat of a person's pants. - Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 94
1974

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Desecration
Removable tape was placed upon a flag in the form of a peace sign and the flag displayed outside of Spense's window to protest the invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State deaths. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that not enough governmental interest existed to justify the regulating of symbolic speech. - Spence v. Washington, 418 U.S. 405 Language in the briefs made, for the first time, the Court clearly stating that use of the flag in protest should be considered as protected expression under the 1st Amendment.
1974

Vice President
In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed Nelson Rockefeller to the vice presidency who had the Vice presidential seal and flag redesigned.
1974

Flag House
The courtyard of the Betsy Ross House was renovated with the addition of a fountain in 1974.
1975

legislation
Public Law 94-53, approved July 4, authorizes that the United States Flag may be flown 24 hours a day at the Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
1975

Union Jack
In Honor of the bicentennial for the Navy and American Independence the traditional version of the First Navy Jack becomes the official Jack from October 12, 1975 to December 31st, 1976.
1976

Bicentennial
The flag that was mistaken for the first Navy Jack was used in many bi-centennial celebrations in 1976.
1976

Bicentennial

ceremonial
Marking 200 years of liberty the Bicentennial Flag is used throughout America in celebrations.
1976

Flag House
In 1976, during the Bicentennial year, the remains of Betsy Ross and her third husband, John Claypoole were moved from Mount Moriah cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania and placed to rest in the garden west of the Betsy Ross House courtyard.
1977

Union Jack

Don't Tread
On Me
The oldest active duty warship, the USS Kitty Hawk CV-63 begins to fly the mistaken First Navy Jack in 1977 instead of the 50-star Union Jack.
1977

Union
Jack
The 50-star Union Jack fly is back on duty after the bicentennial year. It is hoisted again on January 1, 1977 and will fly until September 11, 2002.
1980

Union Jack
In 1980 came the orders that the oldest active duty ship in the navy shall instead fly the traditional version of the First Navy Jack.
1982
 
Flag Day


Proclamation

President Ronald Reagan declares Flag Day and Flag Week for 1982.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate June 14, 1982, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 13, 1982, as National Flag Week, and I direct the appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag on all Government buildings during that week. I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day, June 14, and Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places.
I also urge the American people to celebrate those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by Congress as a time to honor America, by having public gatherings and activities at which they can honor their country in an appropriate manner.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 4th. day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
                         - President Ronald Reagan

1982

POW/MIA
The official National League of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia flag flies over the White House on National POW / MIA Recognition Day for the first time creating a yearly tradition.
1986
 
Flag Day

Flag Week





















1986
 
Flag Day

Flag Week























1986
 
Flag Day

Flag Week



















1986
 
Flag Day

Flag Week


Proclamation























Proclamation


























Proclamation






















Proclamation

President Ronald Reagan declares Flag Day and Flag Week for 1986.

Proclamation 5476 -- Flag Day and National Flag Week, 1986       - May 12, 1986

By the President of the United States of America,   A Proclamation

Over two hundred years ago, in June 1775, the first distinctive American flags were flown over the colonial defenses during the Battle of Bunker Hill. One flag was an adaptation of the British Blue Ensign, while the other displayed the pine tree, a symbol of the experience of Americans who had wrested their land from the wilderness.

As the colonials moved toward a final separation from Great Britain, other flags appeared. At least two of them featured a rattlesnake, symbolizing vigilance and deadly striking power. One bore the legend ``Liberty or Death''; the other, ``Don't Tread on Me.'' The Grand Union Flag was raised over Washington's Continental Army Headquarters on January 1, 1776. It displayed not only the British crosses of St. Andrew and St. George, but also thirteen red and white stripes to symbolize the American colonies. The Bennington flag also appeared in 1776, with thirteen stars, thirteen stripes, and the number ``76.''

Two years after the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted a flag that expressed clearly the unity and resolve of the patriots who had banded together in the cause of independence. The delegates voted ``that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.''

After more than two centuries, with the addition of thirty-seven stars, each representing one of our 50 States, the flag chosen by the Continental Congress on that June day in Philadelphia still waves over our Nation. This flag symbolizes our shared commitment to freedom and federalism and carries a message of hope to the afflicted, of opportunity to the oppressed, and of peace to all humanity.

To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved August 3, 1949 (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as Flag Day and requested the President to issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and for the display of the Flag of the United States on all government buildings. The Congress also requested the President, by joint resolution approved June 9, 1966 (80 Stat. 194), to issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week and calling upon all citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate June 14, 1986, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 8, 1986, as National Flag Week, and I direct the appropriate officials of the government to display the Flag of the United States on all government buildings during that week. I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day, June 14, and Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places.

I also urge the American people to celebrate those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by Congress as a time to honor America (89 Stat. 211), by having public gatherings and activities at which they can honor their country in an appropriate manner, especially by ceremonies in which all renew their dedication by publicly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:22 a.m., May 13, 1986]

1986

U.S. Flag
History





















1986


U.S. Flag
History


Proclamation

Year of the Flag

200th Anniversary
first Call
Constitutional
Convention

Rededication
Statue of Liberty

















Proclamation

Year of the Flag

200th Anniversary
first Call
Constitutional
Convention

Rededication
Statue of Liberty
President Ronald Reagan declares 1986 as Year of the Flag.

Proclamation 5475 -- Year of the Flag       -     May 12, 1986

By the President of the United States of America, A Proclamation

There is no greater, more beautiful, and instantly recognizable symbol of our Nation and its ideals, traditions, and values than the flag of the United States. The thirteen stripes of red and white remind us of the courage and steadfastness of those who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to found this great experiment in republican government. The white stars on a field of blue stand for the 13 original colonies that formed the nucleus of the new Nation and the 37 states that have become part of our Nation since then. Those many stars recall the saga of our growth as we spanned a continent. The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish: red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice. In recent years, citizen awareness, interest, and appreciation of the flag and its relationship to our American heritage have increased. More American families and businesses are buying and displaying the flag.

Nineteen eighty-six marks the 200th anniversary of the first call for a Federal constitutional convention and the year of rededication of the Statue of Liberty, another mighty symbol of what America means. Let it also be the year we as a people commemorate our flag as the proud banner that the winds of freedom lovingly caress, for which generations of patriots have fought and died -- the sign and symbol of a people ruled by a constitution that protects all and enshrines our hopes and our history.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 424, has designated 1986 as the ``Year of the Flag'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim 1986 the Year of the Flag. To heighten citizen awareness of our flag, I urge all Americans to renew their appreciation of the flag and its relationship to our heritage, through appropriate celebrations honoring the flag.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:21 a.m., May 13, 1986]

1989

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Desecration
The Supreme Court upheld the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that the Texas law criminalizing the desecration or other mistreatment of the flag when the "actor knows will seriously offend one or more persons" as unconstitutional as it was applied. This is the first where the Supreme Court directly addressed the 1st Amendment in relation to flag burning.
- Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397
Revolutionary Communist Party member, Gregory Johnson set fire to an American Flag, outside the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, while protestors chanted "America, the red, white, and blue, we spit on you."
1989

POW/MIA
The same POW / MIA flag that flew over the White House in 1988, is installed on March 9, 1989 in the U.S. Capital Rotunda. Bipartisanship of the 100th Congress overwhelmingly passed the legislation and both leaderships hosted the ceremony. The only flag ever displayed in the U.S. Rotunda, the POW / MIA flag, will stand as a symbol of national committment for the fullest possible accounting of missing and unaccounted for personnel from the Vietnam War.
1989

legislation
In the Flag Protection Act of 1989, Congress amends the 1969 federal flag desecration statute. The intent was to make it "content neutral" and not contingent upon a third party's perception.
1990

U.S. Flag
History

Court

Desecration
The Supreme Court overturned several cases where flag-burning convictions were obtained under the Flag Protection Act of 1898. The court ruled that the law still aimed at limiting symbolic speech.  - United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310
1990

Legislation

Desecration
Failing to obtain two-third majority in both houses a Constitutional Amendment to give Congress and the States the power to prohibit flag desecration, dies on the floor of both houses.
1990

POW/MIA
On August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress Recognized the POW / MIA flag, designating it :

"as the symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation".

1993

Union Jack
The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer is commissioned on December 18th, 1993.  The First Navy Jack and the Serapis flag are flown on the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53).
See - 1779   - 2000
1995

legislation
Attempts to make criminal the burning of the American Flag by Constitutional Amendment is defeated in the Senate by a narrow margin. Burning the flag would have been subject to a penalty.
1995

Flag House
Historic Philadelphia, Inc., a private nonprofit oganization, began leasing and managing the Betsy Ross House from the City of Philadelphia in 1995. The Betsy Ross House is furnished in antiques of the period that the descendents said Betsy lived in the home, reproductions, objects that actually belonged to Betsy Ross and her family. 7 rooms are open to the public which includes the only display in the country of an 18th century upholstery shop. Highlights of the exhibit include Betsy's walnut chest-on-chest, Chippendale and Sheraton sidechairs, her eyeglasses, her quilted petticoat and her Bible.
1990

POW/MIA
In the first session, the 105th Congress as part of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act deems the POW/MIA flag will fly with the American Flag each year on :

"Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veterans Day on the grounds or in the public lobbies of major military installations as designated by the Secretary of the Defense, all Federal national cemeteries, the national Korean War Veterans Memorial, the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the White House, the United States Postal Service post offices and at the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense and Veteran's Affairs, and Director of the Selective Service System."

1998

Legislation

Honor
Honor America Days is declared becoming law in August 12th, 1998. (Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1257.)
2000s
2000

USPS
Our Old Glory was honored by the U.S. Postal Service when, on June 14, 2000, a 33¢ U.S. postage stamp pane of 20 differing historical American flags was issued. The Stars and Stripes Postage Stamps are a part of the Classic Collection that had begun in 1994.
2001

USPS

Honor Veterans
In May 2001 the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp "Honoring Veterans" was issued, featuring the American flag against a blue sky. This stamp honors all who have served in the armed forces.  "Continuing in Service."
2001

9-11-01

America
Attacked
Terrorists hijack airliners and fly them into the New York Trade Towers and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on September 11.  One flag emerges as a tattered survivor to remind us of those lost that day.  During the after math firefighters are immortalized in a photograph as they erect a flag. The image will mark the tradgedy as the "Soldiers raising the flag in Iwo-Jima" photograph memorializes World War II.
                           See  - PoetPatriot's 9-11 Tribute
2001

9-11-01

Half-Staff
President Bush orders the Flag to be flown at half-staff in mourning for the over 3000 citizens and rescuers who were killed that day.                  See  - PoetPatriot's 9-11 Tribute
2001

9-11-01
9-22-01
The Ground Zero Flag was displayed on September 22nd 2001 at a site of a triage center at the Brooks Brothers Building on Liberty Street. The Ground Zero Flag hung for the first three months after the 9-11-01 Attacks and has been displayed every September remembering those lost as well as those involved with the rescues.
2002

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

Court
The required reciting in public schools of the Pledge of Allegiance is declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court because of the words "under God," inserted by Congress in 1954.
2002

9-11-01

USPS
Six months after the attacks on the Trade Center and the Pentagon a commemorative stamp is unveiled on March 11, 2002. The Flag hosts the famous picture of Firefighters erecting an American Flag at the site of the collapsed towers.
2002

USPS
Coils of 100 stamps with a waving flag begins shipment on April 29, 2002.
2002

U.S. Flag
History

Display
Bodger Seeds, in tribute to those lost in the tragedy of September 11, 2001 in Lompoc, California, plants its first floral Flag in 50 years.  There have been only three previous Floral Flags by Bodger Seeds.  The Bodger Flag was in full bloom on July 4, 2002. The 2002 Bodger Floral Flag is 6.65 acres; 740 feet long and 390 feet wide, maintaining the proper Flag dimensions as described in Executive Order #10834 - Pictures
2002

Union Jack

9-11-01
The Secretary of the Navy, Gordon R. England, orders the "mistaken" First Navy Jack to be flown on all U.S. Navy ships for the duration of the War on Terrorism.  The "traditional" first navy Jack consisted of 13 alternating red and white stripes bearing diagonally across them a rattlesnake in the slithering position with the motto "Don't Tread On Me." Orders were made on May 31, 2002; most navy ships began compliance on the first anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2002.
2003

9-11-01

Half-Staff
George W. Bush, by proclamation orders the Flag half-staff on Patriot Day, September 11, in honor of those killed in the towers and at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  - 2001
2003
 
Flag Day

Flag Week


Proclamation
President George W. Bush declares Flag Day and Flag Week for 2003.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2003, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 8, 2003, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during that week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, also set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.
                         - President George W. Bush

2003

USPS
The Old Glory Prestige Booklet issue was released at the New York Stamp Show on April 3rd, 2003.  Five commemorative stamps of symbolic patriotism; Uncle Sam on a large-front wheel bicycle; Flag on a fan; Fag as a medal; Lady doll in red, white, and blue holding a flag; and a poster of "The Star Spangled Banner". The 37¢ stamps were in a sheet of 20, accompanied by a souvenir booklet taking a look at how our country's story is told by the Stars and Stripes.
2003
9-11-01
September 11 is designated to be "Patriot Day" by Congress.  -Public Law 107-89   - 2003
2004
 
Flag Day

Flag Week


Proclamation
President George W. Bush declares Flag Day and Flag Week for 2004.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2004, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 13, 2004, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during that week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, also set aside by the Congress, as a time to honor America, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.
                         - President George W. Bush

2004

Pledge

Pledge of
Allegiance

Court
The Supreme Court declines to hear a case brought by Michael Newdow, challenging the Pledge of Allegiance phrase, "One Nation under God." Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice said, "While the court did not address the merits of the case, it is clear that the Pledge of Allegiance and the words 'under God' can continue to be recited by students across America,"
2005

U.S. Flag
History
Half-Staff

Disaster
The The American Flag is flown at half-staff January 2nd to the 8th after a death toll of greater than 100,000 in the world's greatest natural disaster in recorded history.  After an earthquake in the ocean depths, violent tsunamis struck the lands that surround the Indian Ocean.
2005

U.S. Flag
History
Half-Staff

Disaster
The American Flag is flown at half-staff for one month after Hurricane Katrina hits Mississippi and Louisiana causing the greatest Natural Disaster in American History.

See the Hurricane TimeLine at this site.

2005

legislation
The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 is introduced on January 4, 2005.
2005

legislation
On January 25, 2005 Representative Duke Cunningham, introduced an Amendment to the Constitution. It read simply, "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
2005

legislation
On June 22, 2005 the proposed Flag burning Amendment passes the House, it next moves to the Senate and if passed must be approved by 38 States within 7 years.
2006
 
Flag Day

Flag Week


Proclamation
President George W. Bush declares Flag Day and Flag Week for 2006.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2006, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 11, 2006, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during that week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, also set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth."
                         - President George W. Bush

2006
 
Legislation


Rules

Right to Fly
In 2006 the right to fly the flag act was enacted when signed by President George W. Bush on July 24, 2006.  Home Associations shall not deny ones right to display the American Flag. 

"A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.  Sec. 3.

2006

Legislation


legislation
On June 28, 2006 the Flag Constitutional Amendment dies in the Senate by one vote.
2007

USPS

Stamp
Featuring the American Flag a 41¢ Stamp is released on April, 12, 2007. It was reissued in August at the same rate.
2007

U.S. Flag
History

Approaching
50 years old.
The Fifty-star flag became the longest used of all the American flags on July 5th, 2007. Previously it was the 48-star flag, that had been used for 48 years.  July 4th, 2010 will be the 50th anniversary of the 50 star-Flag.
2007

legislation
A proposal was made in the 110th Congress, to amend the United States Code to allow state governors to order the flag be flown at half-staff for the death of a member of the Armed Forces who dies while serving on active duty.  (Public Law 110-41)
2008
 
Legislation

Veteran Salute
On January 28th, 2008 President George W. Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 that included the changing of the flag etiquette to include allowing veterans to salute the flag whether in uniform or not.
2008

USPS
Stamps The first ten of sixty Flags of Our Nation stamps were released on June 14th, 2008, Flag day. The Flags of Our Nation highlights the Stars and Stripes, 50 State Flags, five territorial flags and the District of Columbia flag. The next in the series was in September and will continue through 2009 and into 2010.
20++

Future

Proposed
A Proposed flag, should a 51st state be admitted to the Union, has 6 rows of stars beginning with 9 in the first row and then alternating with a row of 8 stars. The design was first by Robert Heft who also designed the 50-star flag, and is held by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry for consideration should a 51st state be admitted to the Union.
20++

Future
A Proposed flag, should a 51st state be admitted to the Union, was proposed by the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico. It has a circle of 51 stars, 20 stars in the outside circle and others aligned inward to a star in the center.
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock www.PoetPatriot.com 

Index

Flag Links
  
  
  







  
  
Flag Links


Flag Links 

The Flag Links have been moved to the Patriotic Link Page


Other Flag Information @ PoetPatriot.com
   
Reciprocal links
American Flags - American, State, World, Featherd flags and more.
Flag Desk
- Flags, Flagpoles, Parts & Accessories.
Happy-Graduation.com - free ecards
National Anthems
-Lyrics and Audio for Anthems of all Countries of the World.
Waving Flag Images - Free Flag Animations - Military, State, Historical, Worldwide

More Flag Links @ PoetPatriot.com

- - -
PoetPatriot's Patriotic Link Page

Flag
Trivia
















Flag
Trivia

















Flag
Trivia

American  Flag  Trivia


The 50-star American Flag has been in active use longer than any other American national flag.

Eleven Presidents have served under the 50-star flag.

The 50-star flag will be 50 years old on July 4, 2010, assuming no other states are admitted.

The 48-Star flag was in service for 47 years and was the longest used American national flag,
until the 50-star flag remained in use through July, 2007.

The same flag that flew over Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941,
flew again at the White House on August 14, 1945, the day the Japanese signed the terms of surrender.

8 stars in a row on the American flag first showed on the 29-star flag in 1847.

The 15-star flag had 15 stripes, the only American Flag to not have 13 stripes.

Betsy Ross was the first to sew together an official American Flag.

Betsy Ross was only one of many flag makers during the American Revolution.

Any of the previous official versions of the American flag are still valid. They are legal and proper to display.

America began with 13 stars on it's flag. The Confederacy ended with 13 stars on it's flag.

~ ~ ~
Confederate Flag

The "Rebel Flag" was never the Confederate National Flag.

The national flag of the Confederacy had three bars, red, white, and red.

The Confederate Navy Jack is the flag that is often called the "Rebel Flag".
It is the flag that now more commonly symbolizes the South.

~ ~ ~

Misc. Trivia

Arizona and Oregon entered the Union on Valentine's Day.

Texas was once an independent county with it's own flag.

California once had it's own flag as a republic.


Other Flag Information @ PoetPatriot.com


     All rights reserved. © 2005, 2009, 2013, 2014 Roger W Hancock - PoetPatriot.com 

TimeLines of Liberty
American History  -  Flags & Flag Day
Flag TimeLine - 1700 Flag TimeLine - 1800 Flag TimeLine - 1900 Flag TimeLine - 2000
Flag Etiquette Flag Day Other Flag Info. Flag Trivia Skelton's Pledge Flag Links Flag Videos
One Votes Counts U.S. TimeLine TimeLine Index State TimeLines Political Firsts
Presidency TimeLine American Wars The Early Presidents
Sources
 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jolly_Roger - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_flag - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Desecration_Amendment -
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http://www.elmersflag.com/products.cfm?sid=20763760U52018011509002A1242054625689K75K172K80K130N64084828Y763&c=14 -
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us%5E2cv.html - http://www.usflagdepot.com/store/page1.html - http://www.anyflag.com/history/genfrem.htm -
http://www.taunton-ma.gov/Pages/index - http://www.thegroundzeroflag.org/2012/11/14/annual-september-tribute-2010/
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-csrel.html - http://www.annin.com/products/flag_hist_Taunton.asp -
Antique Roadshow (Battle of Shilow Battle Flag 1862)
TimeLines of Liberty
American History  -  Flags & Flag Day
 
Flag TimeLine - 1700 Flag TimeLine - 1800 Flag TimeLine - 1900 Flag TimeLine - 2000
Flag Etiquette Flag Day Other Flag Info. Flag Trivia Skelton's Pledge Flag Videos Flag Links
One Votes Counts U.S. TimeLine TimeLine Index State TimeLines Political Firsts
Presidency TimeLine American Wars The Early Presidents

Index  

 

     All rights reserved. © copyright 2005, 2009, 2013, 2014 Roger W Hancock - PoetPatriot.com
 

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