American Flag History

Nothing seems to invoke feelings of freedom and patriotism for American citizens as much as the red white and blue. Seeing an American flag flying proudly on a bright sunny day can lift spirits and make one proud to be called an American. But as patriotic as most Americans may feel when seeing such a sight, many do not know the history of that important symbol.

It is common knowledge that the 50 bright white stars represent each state of the Union, and some know that the thirteen red and white lines mark the inception of our countries first original colonies. Seeing the flag flying halfway or “half-staff”  is generally known that an  important American has passed.  But who was the creator, when was it created and what was the inspiration for our flag?

Betsy Ross was the woman who sewed the first flag. The year was 1776 and the United States was fighting for its freedom from the British. However there has been some debate over whom the creator of the Stars and Stripes was, it is likely Francis Hopkinson was the designer. No country is complete without a standard to symbolize who they represent. This was an important step for this young country in declaring independence and becoming a sovereign nation.

America’s first flag consisted of the red and white stripes, but leaned more towards that of its ruling oppressors, with the British symbol where the blue background and stars now reside. 1777 was the first year that the stars, representing states, was introduced. As the country grew and gained more states the number of stars went up until the 50 that is currently flying on today’s flag.

The colors of the flag were no mere accident either. Each color is representative of what America stands for. Red is representative of hardiness and valor, traits which the country has been known for, both in wartime and helping other countries in need. White is a symbol for purity and innocence, traits that are representative of the citizens of the United States. And finally the blue field, portraying vigilance and justice characteristics that America has been known for, treating all men equal and providing safety through a fair justice system.

America’s flag has many customs and traditions surrounding it which adds to the pride in its illustrious history. It has gained the nicknames of Star Spangled Banner, Stars and Stripes and of course the famous Old Glory. A flag was bestowed upon a young whaling vessel Captain, whom proudly referred to it as “Old Glory” as it flew on his vessels mast.

The United States flag, with all of its symbolism and history is now seen across the world. It flies above Americas Embassies and war zones around the world representing an idea and hope of freedom for many of the world’s oppressed people. It was a symbol to the British that freedom could be obtained, that justice would prevail and continues to maintain its highly regarded  status to this day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *