History of creation of our first 13 Star United States Flag

History of creation of our first 13 Star United States Flag

Why does our flag look the way it does, because of one sentence in the Constitution.

Resolved that the Flag of The United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 Stars while in a blue field representing a new constellation.-

Resolution adopted by The Marine Committee of The Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia on June 14, 1777

The resolution gave no instruction as to how many points the stars should have, nor how the stars should be arranged on the blue union (canton). Consequently, some flags had stars scattered on the blue field without any specific design, some arranged the stars in rows, and some in a circle. The first US Navy Stars and Stripes (ensign) had the stars arranged in staggered formation in alternate rows of threes and twos on a blue field. Other Stars and Stripes flags had stars arranged in alternate rows of four, five and four. Some early flags the stars had six points while others had eight.

No one knows what the first flag looked like. It is understood by historians that George Washington asked Francis Hopkinson to make the first flag and other refer to The Marine Committee as the designers of the first flag. And Betsy Ross did not make the first flag.

At the time that the flag resolution was adopted, Hopkinson was the Chairman of the Continental Navy Board’s Middle Department. Hopkinson also helped design other items for the Government including the Great Seal of the United States. For his services,

Hopkinson submitted a letter to the Continental Admiralty Board asking “whether a Quarter Cask of the public Wine will not be a proper & reasonable Reward for these Labours of Fancy and a suitable Encouragement to future Exertions of a like Nature.” His request was turned down since the Congress regarded him as a public servant.