Highlights from the History of the United States Flag

Highlights from the History of the United States Flag

With the 4th of July just around the corner, now is a great time to look back on our nation’s history. So here are some highlights in the history of the United States flag:
  • May 1776 – Betsy Ross announces that she has sewn the first US flag.
  • June 14, 1777 – The Continental Congress resolves that the US flag will have 13 alternating white and red stripes, with 13 white stars against a blue background in the corner.
  • 1787 – The flag sails around the world with Captain Robert Gray, as he ventures around the tip of South America and on to China.
  • 1795 – Kentucky and Vermont join the Union, bringing the number of stars and stripes to 15 each. The number of stripes will later be forever set at 13.
  • September 14, 1814 – The Star Spangled Banner is penned by Francis Scott Key, after he spots the flag still flying over Fort McHenry following a British rocket bombardment.
  • Mississippi, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and Tennessee join the Union. The number of stars on the flag is increased to 20.
  • 1861-65 – President Lincoln refuses to allow any stars to be removed from the flag during the Civil War, declaring that the Union is still undivided.
  • 1869 – First postage stamp with a US flag on it is released.
  • 1889 – Flag manufacturers mistakenly create a flag with 39 stars, when the Dakotas join the Union. They believed that both North and South Dakota would enter as a single state, which never occurred.
  • 1892 – A magazine titled The Youth’s Companion is the first to publish the text of the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written by Francis Bellamy.
  • 1897 – Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota adopt flag desecration laws. By 1932, all states would have them. In general, these laws ban placing any kind of marking on the flag, using it in any form of advertising, and defacing or mutilating it in any way.
  • 1907 – The Supreme Court upholds state flag desecration laws against legal challenges.
  • 1909 – The US flag is placed at the North Pole by Robert Peary.
  • 1942 – President Roosevelt approves a federal code that outlines how the flag should be properly treated.
  • August 14, 1945 – The flag that flew over Pearl Harbor the day it was bombed by the Japanese is flown over the White House, the same day that Japan’s government accepts surrender terms.
  • August 3, 1949 – President Truman proclaims June 14th to be Flag Day.
  • 1960 – Hawaii becomes the 50th state to join the Union. The flag is updated to reflect the occasion.
  • July 20, 1969 – Neil Armstrong places a US flag on the moon.
  • September 11, 2001 – Thomas Franklin, reporter for the Bergen County, NJ paper, The Record, takes a picture of three firefighters raising the US flag at the site of Ground Zero. The photo quickly becomes famous and is featured in newspapers, magazines, and web sites across the world.
  • July 19, 2006 – H.R. 42 is passed, which ensures the right of condominium and apartment dwellers to fly the US flag.
  • June 29, 2007 – H.R. 692 is passed. It allows all US states, territories, and possessions to fly the flag at half-mast, to honor an armed services member from their area who died while serving on active duty.

Here at Independence Bunting, we believe that every American should be familiar with the history of the United States flag. That’s why we’re happy to present this information to our web site visitors. Also, when you need a US flag or other decoration, we invite you to browse our selection of top-quality, made in America items. You’ll be sure to find something to fit any occasion.