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Why the United States of America flag has 50 stars and 13 stripes

June 14 marks Flag Day in America, and clearly the world famous Stars and Stripes plays an important role.

Estados Unidos
June 14 marks Flag Day in America, and clearly the world famous Stars and Stripes plays an important role.
Kutay TanirGetty Images

Whether it’s Thanksgiving Day, the Super Bowl or, like today, Flag Day, there is a feeling of symbolism and history as the national flag is recognised.

When was the U.S. flag ‘born’?

The flag of the United States was first introduced on 14 June 1777. Although the origin of the first American flag is unclear, some historians believe it was designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.

On that date, the Continental Congress passed a law establishing an official flag for the new nation:

“Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation,” said the resolution of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia at the time of introducing the official American flag.

Why 50 stars and 13 stripes on U.S. flag?

Between 1777 and 1960, the United States Congress passed several laws that changed the shape, design, and arrangement of the flag. The current version dates from 4 July 1960, after Hawaii had become the 50th state. In all, from the 1777 flag to 1960, 27 official versions were created as states were added.

The current flag design has thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white. Also, a blue rectangle in the upper left corner with 50 small white five-pointed stars arranged in nine horizontal rows in alternating rows of six stars with rows of five stars.

Regarding the symbolism and meaning of the elements of the United States flag, the stripes represent the 13 original colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the nation.

On the other hand, the colours of the flag also have a meaning. Red, named “old glory red” symbolizes resistance and courage, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue, named “old glory blue” represents vigilance, perseverance and justice, according to USA.gov. Go on, wave it with pride.