June 14, 2022
In the early days of the Republic, Americans used a variety of flags to display their newly-declared independence from Britain. Soon, however, it became clear that a single national flag was needed.
On June 14, 1776, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating, “Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.” The stars on that first flag, now known as the Betsy Ross flag, were arranged in a circle.
As more states joined the Union, more stars were added to the flag. The current design, having 50 stars, was designed by high school student Bob Heft as a history project. His design was chosen as the official flag design by President Eisenhower on August 21, 2959.
Flag day was first celebrated on July 4, 1877, to commemorate the Centennial of the Stars and Stripes. It was declared a national day of observance in 1949.