History- Looking Back at the Origins of the American Flag

In June 1777, Continental Congress passed the act that established what the official flag of the nation would be. According to the resolution, the United States flag would have thirteen stripes alternating between red and white, the union would compose of thirteen stars, white in blue field and represent the new constellation. President Harry Truman made an official declaration in 1949 regarding Flag Day, which would be commemorated on June 14.

The flag’s history is as intriguing as the history of the nation. It has withstood battles, adjusted along with the changes and growth that the American republic represents and inspired music. There are several fascinating facts about the flag and its evolution has determined different aspects of the flag, including how it should be displayed and used.


  • The actual origin of the flag is still a mystery with some historians stating that a congressman from New Jersey designed it and a seamstress from Philadelphia sewed it.
  • The nickname Old Glory was created by Captain William Driver, leading to the inspiration for the name to be widely used when referring to the American flag. It is believed that Driver’s flag escaped unscathed after several attempts were made to destroy it during the ongoing Civil War. After the war, he flew the flag over the statehouse in Tennessee.
  • Congress passed multiple acts during the period of 1777-1960 that changed the overall design and shape of the flag. The acts made it possible to add stars and stripes to represent the admission of new states. View the interactive history of the American flag


The flag is now composed of seven red and six white horizontal stripes that alternate. The total of 13 stripes represents 13 original colonies and the union’s 50 states are represented by the stars. The flag’s three colors symbolize attributes such as hardiness, purity and vigilance.

National Symbol of Pride

  • There are certain American locations such as The White House within which the flag is flown all day long, according to the law or a proclamation by the president.
  • Francis Key was inspired by the resilience of the American flag after the British bombardment. The budding poet wrote a song that eventually became the country’s national anthem. The flag has been a source of inspiration for various poets and songwriters over the years.
  • The American flag has been placed at a variety of iconic locations, including Mount Everest, North Pole and most notably, the moon. Flying the flag in space is certainly one of the most memorable moments that are associated with the national symbolism.

Displaying the Flag

The flag is typically raised quickly and lowered in a ceremonious manner that honors its sanctity. It is displayed on a daily basis, during holidays, next to public administration buildings, during elections and on school days.

During the raising or lowering of the flag, people are expected to face it with their rights hands placed over their hearts. The American flag is meant to be handled with respect and should never point towards a person or make contact with any item or surface that is beneath it.

Jack Dawson

Jack Dawson is a freelance content writer. He has written many good and informative articles on different categories.

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