Flag of United States

Flag of United States
Country US
Population 339,996,563 (2023)
Area (Km²) 9,147,420
Сontinent North America
Emoji 🇺🇸
  hex rgb
#B31942 179, 25, 66
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
#0A3161 10, 49, 97

The flag of United States consists of 7 red stripes and 6 white stripes of equal width, placed alternately, starting with the red color. In the canton of the flag is a blue cloth seven stripes high and 2/5 of the total length of the flag, on which are 50 five-pointed stars - one for each state that is part of USA.

Meaning of the flag of the United States of America

  • The colors represent the ideals on which the nation is founded, such as freedom, equality, and justice.
  • The red color symbolizes valor and courage, reflecting the sacrifice of the people who fought for the country;
  • White stands for purity and innocence, symbolizing the value of honesty;
  • The blue color symbolizes vigilance, perseverance and justice, which are necessary to maintain democracy and national unity;
  • White five-pointed stars represent the number of states that make up the USA - 50;
  • The 13 alternating red and white stripes are a reference to the original flag, when there were only 13 states.

Interesting facts about the US flag:

  • There are 6 US flags on the moon. The first flag was installed in 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 mission. During the subsequent missions, which took place until 1972, 5 more flags were installed. Satellite images confirm the presence of 5 flags, but they are apparently already bleached by sunlight. The absence of the sixth flag, which was actually the first flag planted by Buzz Aldrin in 1969, is explained by the assumption that it was placed too close to the Apollo 11 lunar module and was blown away during the flight;
  • US Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. This date was not chosen by chance: it was on this day in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the first flag using stars and stripes;
  • The design of the 50 stars was invented by a schoolboy. In 1958, when the question arose of changing the number of stars as a result of Hawaii's accession to the United States, a competition was announced for the best flag design. About 1500 options were submitted for consideration, among which the then President of the United States chose the option of a 17-year-old schoolboy from Lancaster, Robert G. Heft;
  • The first flag was sewn by a seamstress from Philadelphia, Betsy Ross. There is such a theory about the first embroidered flag, but there is no historical evidence for it, because the only one who told it at his own press conference was Betsy Ross's grandson, who almost 100 years after the flag was approved in 1777 claims that his grandmother received a sewing order from George Washington;
  • The flag of the United States of America has been changed 27 times. It's hard to believe, because the stripes and stars on a blue background have been around for quite some time, but including the first version of the flag, which had only 13 stars because the canton had a Union Jack before, the flag has undergone 27 changes;
  • The US flag was first flown on Mount Everest in 1963. On May 22, 1963, Barry Bishop and a team of climbers made history by climbing Mount Everest and planting the American flag and the flag of the National Geographic Society, of which he was a member. Barry was 31 years old at the time of his ascent to the summit of Mount Everest, which is 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) high. Bishop and his three companions spent about 40 hours on their last attempt, nearly freezing to death. Barry lost all of his toes because of the experience. After enduring so many challenges on his journey, Barry died in 1994 in a car accident, probably after falling asleep at the wheel;
  • A record-sized American flag in Gastonia. In the state of North Carolina, the largest American flag fluttering in the air is installed. Each of its stripes is 5 feet wide. To raise it into the air, a flagpole 225 feet high and weighing 80,000 pounds is used. The flag itself has the following dimensions: 114 feet wide, 65 feet high, and its total area is 7,400 square feet;

A record-sized American flag in Gastonia

  • The tallest flagpole in Wisconsin as a tribute to veterans. The flag, similar in size to the Gastonia flag, is located in Wisconsin on a flagpole 400 feet tall and weighing 400,000 pounds. The flag honors veterans who have died in combat. Flag dimensions: 60 by 120 feet;

The tallest flagpole in Wisconsin as a tribute to veterans

  • The largest vertical flag floating over an abyss. In the state of Utah, in the town of Pleasant Grove, there is a flag called "Big Betsy". This is perhaps the most spectacular flag of all, as it is placed over a 600-foot canyon and measures 78 by 150 feet, exceeding previous records as it was hung later than them in the pursuit of record values;

The largest vertical flag floating over an abyss

  • Thomas Demski's "Super Flag" is the size of a football field. The resident of Long Beach, California, became the owner of the largest American flag ever made and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. It took more than 500 people to unfurl and raise it. The flag is nicknamed the "Super Flag" because it measures 500 by 225 feet and weighs 3000 pounds. The height of the star alone is 17 feet. For comparison, it is one and a half football fields long and almost one field wide. On May 1, 1996, the Super Flag was displayed at the Hoover Dam.

The evolution of the flag of the United States of America

The first flag similar to the modern star-spangled banner was an unofficial flag sometimes called the Great Union Jack or "continental colors." It had 13 red and white stripes, with a Union Jack in the upper left corner. This flag was raised on December 3, 1775, by Continental Navy Lieutenant John Paul Jones aboard the USS Alfred. It remained the national flag until June 14, 1777. The Second Continental Congress in 1776 decided to adopt flags with "stars white on a blue field". The "Grand Union Jack" became the first national flag of the United States. The Continental Navy probably transformed its previous British red flag by adding white stripes.

The first flag of the United States

Starting in 1777, the Union Jack flag was removed from the canton and replaced with 13 white five-pointed stars on a blue background. 13 stars according to the number of states that were part of the United States of America at that time. 

Flag of the United States of America with 13 stars

Since the placement of the stars was not fixed and standardized anywhere, there were various variants of their placement, the main rule was only their number - 13: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia.

Flag of the United States of America with 15 and 20 stars

The stars in this number existed for 18 years, until two more were added in honor of Vermont and Kentucky, and later 5 more - Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi. For all the changes to the flag with the addition of stars, the number of stripes changed only once. Absolutely all flags consisted of seven red and six white stripes, i.e. the total number of stripes was 13. This is due to the fact that there were originally 13 states, so it was decided that there should also be 13 stripes and stars. And when two stars were added to Vermont and Kentucky in 1795, the stripes were added according to the same principle, resulting in 15 stars and 15 stripes. However, in 1818, it became clear that this system would not work forever, and already at the stage of 20 stripes, it was difficult to place them. Therefore, from 1818 to the present day, the number of red and white stripes has been 13, and with each new expansion, only the number of stars increased.

Flag of the United States of America with 21, 23 and 24 stars

On December 3, 1818, Illinois joined, so in 1819 there were 21 stars. On December 14, 1819, Alabama joined, on March 15, 1820, Maine joined, and on August 10, 1821, Missouri joined, increasing the number to 24.

Flag of the United States of America with 25 and 26 stars

On June 15, 1836, Arkansas joined, and on January 26, 1837, Michigan joined.

Flag of the United States of America with 27, 28 and 29 stars

March 3, 1845 - Florida, December 29, 1845 - Texas, December 28, 1846 - Iowa.

Flag of the United States of America with 30, 31 and 32 stars

May 29, 1848 - Wisconsin, September 9, 1850 - California, May 11, 1858 - Minnesota.

Flag of the United States of America with 33 and 34 stars

February 14, 1859 - Oregon, January 29, 1861 - Kansas.

Flag of the United States of America with 35 and 36 stars

June 20, 1863 - West Virginia, October 31, 1864 - Nevada.

Flag of the United States of America with 37 and 38 stars

March 1, 1867 - Nebraska, August 1, 1876 - Colorado.

Flag of the United States of America with 43, 44 and 45 stars

November 2, 1889 - North Dakota, November 2, 1889 - South Dakota, November 8, 1889 - Montana, November 11, 1889 - Washington, July 3, 1890 - Idaho, July 10, 1890 - Wyoming, January 4, 1896 - Utah.

Flag of the United States of America with 46, 48 and 49 stars

November 16, 1907 - Oklahoma, January 6, 1912 - New Mexico, February 14, 1912 - Arizona, January 3, 1959 - Alaska.

The current flag of the United States of America with 50 stars
And finally, the last accession to date took place on August 21, 1959 - Hawaii, increasing the number of stars on the flag to 50. In this form, the flag has existed for more than 60 years and is the longest used flag of the USA. It was preceded by a flag with 48 stars, which was used for 47 years from 1912 to 1959, and with 15 stars for 23 years from 1795 to 1818.