Flags Unlimited is a business that since 1985 has manufacturer of all types of flags and banners, offering both wholesale and retail sales. Not only do they sell flags, but I learned some flag history about the US flag.
The current official U.S. flag is a 50 star flag, born of the need for a more practical design to accommodate new states entering into the union. On April 4th, 1818, Congress established the number of stripes at seven red and six white, and provided the addition of one star for each new state. The thirteen stripes represent the original 13 colonies. The 50 star flag has been in use since July 4th, 1960 when Hawaii officially joined the union. In the first years of the Revolutionary War, America fought under many flags. One of these flags, called the Grand Union, flew over George Washington's headquarters near Boston. It was the first American flag to be officially recognized by another country. On November 16th, 1776, the American warship, Andrew Doria, saluted a Dutch fort in the West Indies and was saluted in return. This brought a measure of international recognition to the United Colonies. A flag with thirteen stars and thirteen stripes received its first salute from another country on February 14th, 1778, when French vessels in Quiberon Bay, France, saluted John Paul Jones and his ship, The Ranger. No one positively knows who designed the first Stars and Stripes, or who made the first flag. Soon after the flag was adopted by our new government, Congressman Francis Hopkinson claimed that he had designed it. Some historians believe that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, made the first U.S. flag. On June 14th, 1777, in order to establish an official flag of the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, 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."
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