The Star Spangled Banner


 

We had a visitor stop by the house last week and they said our flag looked "funny". Hmmm ... What do you think?

The Star Spangled Banner, Kentucky's First Flag, 1792

This Flag became the Official United States Flag on May 1st, 1795. Two stars were added for the admission of Vermont (the 14th State on March 4th, 1791) and Kentucky (the 15th State on June 1st, 1792, and was to last for 23 years. The five Presidents who served under this flag were; George Washington (1789-1797), John Adams (1797-1801), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), James Madison (1809-1817), and James Monroe (1817-1825).

The 15-star, 15-stripe flag was authorized by the Flag Act of January 13, 1794, adding 2 stripes and 2 Stars. The regulation went into effect on May 1, 1795. This flag was the only U.S. Flag to have more than 13 stripes. It was immortalized by Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Sept 13, 1814. The actual flag that flew over Fort McHenry on that day is now preserved in the Smithsonian Museum.

On April 4, 1818, a plan was passed by Congress changed the flag to have 20 stars, with a new star to be added when each new state was admitted, but the number of stripes would be reduced to 13 so as to honor the original colonies. The act specified that new flag designs should become official on the first July 4 (Independence Day) following admission of one or more new states. The most recent change, from 49 stars to 50, occurred in 1960 when the present design was chosen, after Hawaii gained statehood in August 1959. Before that, the admission of Alaska in January 1959 prompted the debut of a short-lived 49-star flag.

On July 4, 2007, the 50-star flag became the version of the flag in longest use, surpassing the 48-star flag that was used from 1912 to 1959.