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The Public Safety Net presents:
OLD GLORY,
The Star Spangled Banner
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.
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The San Diego Chargers / Cincinatti Bengals Game 09-30-01
Over 400 Fire Fighters, Police Officers, EMT's & Paramedics were on the field participating in the ceremony.
This including one dozen retired FDNY & NYPD personnel.


OUR National Anthem


I am the Flag of The United States of America
The Stars And Strips
MY NAME IS OLD GLORY

I am the flag of the United States of America. I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia. The Continental Congress adopted the historic flag resolution, proposed by the marine committee; "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternating seven red and six white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." I am more than just cloth shaped into a design. I am the refuge of the World's oppressed people. I am the silent sentinel of FREEDOM. My thirteen stripes with a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue represented a new constellation. A new nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.

Betsy Ross would often tell her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends of the fateful day when three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time late in May 1776. She made me, the first flag.

There's evidence a civil servant designed me, our first flag! No other details were specified. Francis Hopkinson, chairman of a department of the Congressional navy board, designed a flag using six-pointed stars in a staggered row configuration.

Today fifty stars signal form my union, one for each of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known. My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country. My red . . . stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and daughters. They also symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation. My white . . . stripes stand for liberty and equality for all and signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons. The Sons of Liberty flew flags of Red and White Stripes. Some were vertical stripes while others were horizontal. The British often referred to flags of this type as the "rebellious strips". My blue . . . is indicative of God's heaven under which I fly, loyalty, and faith. I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and humanity. My Stars . . . clustered together, unify 50 States as one, for God and Country.

"Old Glory" is my nickname, and proudly I wave on high. Honor me, respect me, defend me with your lives and your fortunes. Never let my enemies tear me down from my lofty position, lest I never return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy. I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind.

I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home. I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers - the Pilgrims, Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth. I am as old as my nation. I am a living symbol of my nation's law, The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people." I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism. I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard has a flag pole for my display. Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their allegiance to me and my country. I fly in front of all fire stations, librarys, and post offices and most parks.

I have my own law—Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" - which definitely states my correct use and display for all occasions and situations. I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my birth. Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow. I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity. If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, I am nullified and destroyed. You and your children will become slaves to dictators and despots. Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.

I am the inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes. I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the bloody swamps of Viet Nam. I walk in silence with each of your Honored Dead, to their final resting place beneath the silent White Crosses, row upon row. I have flown through Peace and War, Strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all I have been respected.
For more than 200 years I have fought in every battle of every war... from Gettysburg, shiloh, Appomattox, San Juan Hill, Tripoli, the trenched of France, the Argonne... Anzio, Rome, and the beaches of Normandy... to the steaming jungles of Guan, Okinawa, Tarawa, Korea, and Vietnam... and the heat of North Africa and the Persion Gulf and Afganistan and a score of other places.


I fly atop the world's tallest buildings. I stand watch in America's halls of justice. I fly majestically over great institutions of learning. I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.

Look up and see me!!!

I am confident, I am arrogant, I am proud.

When flown with my fellow banners, my head is held a little higher, my colors a little truer...

I BOW TO NO ONE!

I am worshiped, I am saluted, I am respected, I am revered, I am loved, I AM FEARED!

Faded or long fogotten by some... but for those who were there with me, I was at their side.

I led Americans of every race and creed. I followed them. I watched over them. They loved me.

I WAS PROUD!!!

I have been soiled, burned, torn down, and trampled... on the streets of countries I have helped to set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincable.

I have been soiled, burned, torn down, trample here... in the streets of my own country: And when it is done by those with whom I've served in battle or service and in protection... that hurts. But I shall overcome, for I am strong.

I have slipped the surely bounds of earth and from my vantage point on the moon, I stand watch over the world and the new frontiers of space.

But, my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips for bandages for my wonded comrades on the battle field..... And, when I fly at half mast to honor brave Americans. Or, when I am draped over the casket of someone who served this great country of ours at their funeral. And, when I lie in the trembling hands of a grieving mother at the grave side of her fallen son or daughter.

As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. That I stand for what you are - no more, no less. Guard me well, lest your freedom will perish from the earth. Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human liberty. I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.

I am your Flag.

I am PROUD... "Don't tread on me!"


God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of the free and the home of the brave"
and that I shall forever be known as "Old Glory," the flag of the United States of America.


Long may I wave, long may I wave!!!

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© 2001 TheRecord / photographer: Thomas E. Franklin

Parts of the FLAG

  • Colors:

RED: Hardness and Courage

WHITE: Purity and Innocence

BLUE: Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice

  • Canton or Union: The White Stars in a Blue Field, a "New Constillation" One Star for every State
  • Fileld or Ground: Thirteen Red and White Stripes representing the original 13 colonies
  • Hoist: Short end attached to the flag pole via a halyard
  • Fly: Long end flying freely in the wind

From design to creation to use and to treasure and more: The TRUE STORY OF OLD GLORY!

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The original Star-Spangled Banner survived the September 14th 1814 bombardment of Baltimore Harbor's Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy. Inspired by this flag, a lawyer, Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem to the tune of an English drinking song.

The original poem "Defense of Fort McHenry," penned on an envelope, was written when he saw the flag still flying the morning after the attack by the Brittish. He was held captive as a prisoner of war on a Brittish Naval Ship with his friend Doctor William Beans. As he watched from the ship in Chesapeak Bay, he observed the flag flying through the night as the blazing shower of shells bombarded the fort.

The poem was dedicated as our National Anthem in 1931.

The flag was 200 pounds and measured 30 feet high and 42 feet long. It had 15 stripes and 15 stars which were two feet wide. This fl;ag never made another appearance in American history and its remnant are preserved today at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.


The flag has had a colorful history, from its origins in a government contract through its sojourn with several generations of a Baltimore family to its eventual donation to the Smithsonian Institution.

Sewing the Star-Spangled Banner: Commisioned by the army, Mrs. Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, Maryland, a maker of ship's banners and flags, manufactured the Star-Spangled Banner with assistance from her daughter, Mrs. Caroline Purdy in her home. It was finished in a brewery as it became too large to work on in the house. Mrs. Pickersgill did the work on contract with the U.S. government for the sum of $405.90. Made of first-quality long-fibered English wool bunting (for this type of cloth was not produced in America at that early date), the flag was begun in July 1813 and completed six week later on August 19. It was raised at Fort McHenry soon after.

A Large Flag: Originally the flag measured 30 feet (hoist) x 42 feet (fly) and flew from a flagpole about 90 feet high. The stars measure 26 inches from point to point. Although this may seem an unusually large flag, the modern United States Army garrison flag is almost as large, measuring 20 by 38 feet. Today the Star-Spangled Banner's dimensions are 30 by 34 feet. The missing portions apparently were cut off for souvenirs many years before it came to the Smithsonian. Although it is possible that the flag was struck by mortar fire as the British ships were retiring, the holes were probably not made that way. The removal of pieces for souvenirs seems more plausible.

Fifteen Stars and Stripes: The flag has 15 stars and 15 stripes as provided for by the Act of Congress approved January 13, 1794. Passage of the Act of Congress of April 4, 1818, reduced the number of stripes to 13 and provided for one star for each state--a new star to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state. The Star-Spangled Banner is one of the very few 15-star, 15-stripe flags in existence.

Over the years the Star-Spangled Banner has undergone a series of transformations. When it was made in 1813 it was a simple garrison flag. After the British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry in 1814, it became a valued keepsake in the family of Lt. Col. George Armistead, the fort's commander. It later became a national treasure.

The popularity of Francis Scott Key's anthem during and after the Civil War transformed it into a national treasure. Since coming to the Smithsonian in 1907, the historic flag has been a visible reminder of both the ideals represented by the American flag and the need to preserve those ideals. The Star-Spangled Banner received its baptism by fire at the Battle of Baltimore on Sept. 12-14, 1814. That battle was one of a series of clashes between British and American forces during the final year of the War of 1812.

British troops first attacked Baltimore, the United States' third largest city, by land. Badly outnumbered by American militiamen, they withdrew. British ships bombarded Fort McHenry, which guarded Baltimore's harbor, for 25 hours. Maj. George Armistead, the fort's commander, refused to haul down the American flag and surrender. Baltimore was spared, and the British, daunted on land and sea, sailed away. The young republic rejoiced in its against-the-odds victory.

From the poem to the national anthem... On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key peered through clearing smoke to see an enormous flag flying proudly after a 25-hour British bombardment of Baltimore's Fort McHenry.

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A well known Georgetown lawyer, Key, was a gifted amateur poet and hymnist. He was a prisoner of war inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry from a Brittish ship in the harbor the morning after the bombardment. He scribbled the initial notes for his poem on the back of a letter. Back in Baltimore, he copied the four verses onto paper, probably making more than one copy. The next morning someone printed the poem as a broadside. Shortly afterward two Baltimore newspapers published it, and by mid-October it had appeared in at least 17 other papers in cities up and down the east coast. Soon after, Thomas Carr's Baltimore music store published the words and music together under the title "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song gained steadily in popularity in the years before the Civil War.

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Even before "The Star-Spangled Banner" became our national anthem, it helped transform the garrison flag with the same name into a major national symbol of patriotism and identity. The melody to which Francis Scott Key intended his poem to be sung was the popular English tune known as "To Anacreon in Heaven." Written about 1775 by John Stafford Smith, the tune was originally the "constitutional song" of the Anacreontic Society, a gentlemen's music club in London named after the 6th-century B.C.E. Greek poet Anacreon. It became extremely popular in America, where it was used to accompany a number of verses, including the patriotic song called "Adams and Liberty," before 1814. Key himself used the tune for his 1805 poem "When the Warrior Returns from the Battle Afar." By 1861 it shared with "Yankee Doodle" and "Hail Columbia" the distinction of being played on most patriotic occasions. Nonetheless Congress did not make the song the national anthem until 1931.

A Flag Transformed Over the years the Star-Spangled Banner has undergone a series of transformations.

Pres. William Jefferson Clinton, speaking before the Star-Spangled Banner at the National Museum of American History, July 13, 1998. From a military standard to the ntaional symbol..."This Star-Spangled Banner and all its successors have come to embody our country, what we think of as America. It may not be quite the same for every one of us who looks at it, but in the end we all pretty much come out where the framers did. We know that we have a country founded on the then revolutionary idea that all of us are created equal, and equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

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Past custodians of the Star-Spangled Banner have cared for it well. Three generations of the Armistead family guarded it as the family's most cherished possession. The flag's weakened condition was first recognized in 1873 by Adm. George Preble, who attached a sailcloth backing to the flag so that it could be photographed. After the flag was donated to the Smithsonian in 1912, the Institution employed a professional flag restorer to replace the sailcloth backing with linen using a patented stitching technique. Despite careful cleanings and specially designed displays, the flag's condition continued to weaken as it aged.

From the day the flag arrived at the national museum, Smithsonian staff realized that it was in a weakened state. It was still attached to the heavy sailcloth that had been added in 1873. While this gave some support to the flag, the backing was uneven, and the flag sagged and became distorted when displayed. In 1914 the Smithsonian recruited Amelia Fowler, a professional flag restorer, to preserve the flag. With a team of needlewomen, she stitched the flag to a linen lining to provide all-over support. When the new Museum of History and Technology (later renamed the National Museum of American History) was planned, architects designed a special Flag Hall for the Star-Spangled Banner. The design meant that the flag was prominently placed in the new building's central hall.

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The Smithsonia Institute
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Restoration of Stars and Stripes will rely on modern conservation

And for the first time since arriving at the Smithsonian, the flag was hung vertically and displayed in its entirety. The Star-Spangled Banner, like most objects, has gradually deteriorated over time. Fibers in the great flag's wool and cotton fabric have been weakened by almost two centuries of exposure to light, dust and other elements. The Star-Spangled Banner Preservation Project aims to understand causes of the flag's current condition and to design and carry out treatment that addresses those conditions.

Except for two years during World War II when the flag was removed for safekeeping, it remained on exhibit in the Arts and Industries building until 1963. In 1907 Eben Appleton, George Armistead's grandson, corresponded with the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore about donating the Star-Spangled Banner to the state or the city. Eventually he decided instead to place the flag on loan to the Smithsonian Institution. It was folded and displayed in a case in the National Museum's Hall of History. In 1912 Appleton converted the loan to a gift.

The Star-Spangled Banner Preservation Project is saving an American treasure: The flag that inspired our national anthem. At the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, we are engaged in a significant effort to preserve this icon, which has been endangered by time, and exposure to pollution and the elements. Eben Appleton donated the flag to the Smithsonian with the wish that it would always be displayed for the visiting public. In 1914 the Smithsonian placed the flag in the Arts and Industries building in a specially constructed glass case. The case did not allow visitors to see the entire flag, but the portion that was visible could be seen up close.

Conservation projects require specialized skills, facilities, and equipment. The flag's size and its tremendous value to the American people make this an unusual project. Follow the Project's progress through this Web site and by visiting the Museum's Star-Spangled Banner Conservation Laboratory. Piecing together the history of an artifact--the Star-Spangled Banner, for example--is like solving a mystery. Historians use clues from primary sources such as photographs, letters, and newspaper articles from the same time period as when an object was made and used.

The Pledge of Allegiance

I - - Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge - - Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance - - My love and my devotion.

To the Flag - - Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.

United - - That means that we have all come together.

States - - Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.

And to the Republic - - Republic--a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation - - One Nation--meaning, so blessed by God.

Indivisible - - Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty - - Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice - - The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.

For All - - For All--which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.

And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?

Red Skelton


OUR FLAG
Did You Know?

Did you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?



Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times?
You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.



The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.


The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave
a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.


The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God,
it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance
.

The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country,
in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.


The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America,
and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.


The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country
and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.


The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.


The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love,
loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.


The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.


The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes,
the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.


The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nations motto, "In God We Trust."


After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served
under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their
comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have important deep meanings. In the future, when you see flags folded, now you will know why.

National/Historical
American Flags

The Stars and Stripes
Betsy Ross
Flag
The 13
Star Flag
The Star
Spangled Banner
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The 1818
20 Star Flag
The 21
Star Flag
The 23
Star Flag
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The 24
Star Flag
The 31
Star Flag
The Civil War
35 Star
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The 37
Star Flag
The 44
Star Flag
The 45
Star Flag
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The 46
Star Flag
The 48
Star Flag
The 49
Star Flag
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The 50
Star Flag
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Other Federal Flags
Presidential Flag Vice Presidential
Flag
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Flags of the Revolution
Grand Union Flag Gadsden Flag Bennington Flag
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Culpepper Flag Join or
Die Flag
Guilford Flag
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Washington Flag Serapis Flag Bedford Flag
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Flags of the
Confederate States of America

1st Official 2nd Official 3rd Official
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Battle Flag Naval Ensign
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A Short History of the Flags of the United States

It was first decreed that there should be a star and a stripe for each state, making thirteen of both; for the states at the time had just been erected from the original thirteen colonies.

The colors of the Flag may be thus explained: The red is for valor, zeal and fervency; the white for hope purity, cleanliness of life, and rectitude of conduct; the blue, the color of heaven, for reverence to God, loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.

The star (an ancient symbol of India, Persia and Egypt) symbolized dominion and sovereignty, as well as lofty aspirations.

The constellation of the stars within the union, one star for each state, is emblematic of our Federal Constitution, which reserves to the States their individual sovereignty except as to rights delegated by them to the Federal Government.

The symbolism of the Flag was thus interpreted by Washington: "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."


The Sons of Liberty flew flags of Red and White Stripes. Some were vertical stripes while others were horizontal. The British often referred to flags of this type as the "rebellious strips". Before the Contenental Congress made any kind of resolution determining the flag that the Americans would use, a wide variety of designs appeared. While most of the first flags were based loosely on British ensigns, the stars and stripes soon took hold.
{short description of image} At the Battle of Bennington in August 1777 were two famous flags. One, shown here, is called the Bennington Flag or the Fillmore Flag. Nathaniel Fillmore took this flag home from the battlefield. The flag was passed down through generations of Fillmores, including Millard, and today it can be seen at Vermont's Bennington Museum. The other (not pictured) has a green field and a blue canton with 13 gold-painted stars arranged in rows. General John Stark gave his New Hampshire troops a rallying speech that would be the envy of any football coach today. He said, "My men, yonder are the Hessians. They were brought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight, the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow!"
The rattlesnake was the favorite animal emblem of Americans. American colonists saw the rattler as a good example of America's virtues. They argued that it is unique to America; individually its rattles produce no sound, but united they can be heard by all; and while it does not attack unless provoked, it is deadly when you distrub it or step upon it. Hence the motto "Don't Tread on Me"
The Gadsden flag was also used on vessels of the Continental Navy. Patriot Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina designed it, copying a design he saw on a banner. Commodore Esek Hopkins, commander of the new Continental fleet, carried a similar flag in February 1776, when his ships put to sea for the first time. Hopkins captured large stores of British cannon and military supplies in the Bahamas. His cruise marked the salt-water baptism of the American Navy and it saw the first landing of the Corps of Marines, on whose drums the Gadsden symbol was painted.
The Culpepper Flag (1775): A stylized version of the original "Don't Tread On Me Flag," supposedly used by the Culpeper Minutemen of Colonial America who had the slogan "Liberty or Death". While not proven, this may be the infamous flag which was flown by the first Minute Men to engage British troops in what shortly thereafter became the Revolutionary War.
The First Navy Jack (1775): (also known as a Culpepper Flag) One of the first flags flown by our U.S. Navy may have been an adaptation of the "Rebellious Stripes" created at the time of the Stamp Act Congress. It featured thirteen red and white stripes. Stretched across them was the rippling form of a rattlesnake, and the words, "DON'T TREAD ON ME"- a striking indication of the colonists' courage and fierce desire for independence.
The Flag of George Washington. It became the symbol of our Union It was common practice for Generals to have a headquarters standard, and George Washington was no exception. The flag is thought to also have been the standard for the Colonial Army, as the flag was present at both Battle of Princeton and the Surrender of Yorktown. The original is in the collection of the Valley Forge Historical Society.

The First Flags

On 14 June 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the following resolution:

"RESOLVED, that the flag of the 13 United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: That the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
The thirteen stars and thirteen stripes represented the thirteen original colonies: Connecticut - Delaware - Georgia - Maryland - Massachusetts - New Hampshire - New Jersey New York - North Carolina - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - Virginia
Our First Official Flag

Betsy Ross Flag Betsy would often tell her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends of the fateful day when three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time late in May 1776. George Washington was then the head of the Continental Army. Robert Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was a respected Philadelphian and also the uncle of her late husband, John Ross.

Believe it or not, there's evidence a civil servant designed our first flag! On June 14 , 1777 Continental Congress adopted the historic flag resolution, proposed by the marine committee, "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." No other details were specified. Francis Hopkinson, chairman of a department of the Congressional navy board, designed a flag using six-pointed stars in a staggered row configuration. (Note the similarity in the canton to George Washington’s flag.)
Today's Flag became the official flag of the United State on July 4, 1960:

This was done by an Executive Order issued by President Dwight Eisenhower's Executive Order (#10834, published 25 August, 1959)

Ike made it clear that older flags would still be considered American flags and could still be flown but the 50 Star flag was the official flag. However, Historic U.S. flags are due the same honor and respect that are given today's colors. When a historic flag is carried or displayed with a present-day flag, the modern flag takes precedence.

References:

The Armed Forces Collections,
National Museum of American History,
in cooperation with the Public Inquiry Mail Service,
Smithsonian Institution 8/95

Smithsonian Information SI Building,
Room 153 Washington, DC 20560-0010

PBS Flag History
National Historical American Flags
The Star Spangled Banner Project

Web page design and maintenance by Mitch Mendler E.M.T. Paramedic FireFighter:The WebMaster!