When talking about the brief history of America, those painstaking days of old glory, it seems quite reasonable to quote an emotional saying:
Ev’ry heart beats true,
‘neath the Red, White, and Blue. —George M. Cohan
We set a brief history of America from 1776 to 1960, and we can easily figure out the old glory of this period.
- On January 1st, 1776
The Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution, which placed American forces under George Washington’s control. On that New Year’s Day, the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston, which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left corner (the canton).
- On June 14th, 1777
To establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved that the flag of the United States is made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union is thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
- Between 1777 and 1960
Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design, and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state:
- Act of January 13th, 1794, provided for 15stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
- Act of April 4th, 1818, provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
- June 24th, 1912, Executive Order of President Taft, established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
- January 3rd, 1959, Executive Order of President Eisenhower, provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
- August 21st, 1959, Executive Order of President Eisenhower, provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.
Our Current Flag & Color Symbolism
Going through such a brief history, today the American flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red, alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union.
- Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor.
- White symbolizes Purity and Innocence.
- Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
See more information about the Flag Day