Who made the first flag, and when?
Betsy Ross made the first flag. Information on Betsy Ross, the history of the flag, and on flag etiquette may be found at the Betsy Ross Home Page (maintained by the Independence Hall Association of Philadelphia.)
The actual flag that inspired the “Star Spangled Banner” still exists!
The flag that flew at Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812, immortalized in Francis Scott Key’s tune, is one of the few remaining specimens of a 15-star, 15-bar flag. What’s left of it is on permanent display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
A snippet of that flag sold at an auction in 2011 for $38,000!
We say “what’s left of it” because the flag in question was a victim of “soveniring,” a once-common practice where sections from flags were snipped off and sold as mementoes. The 2” x 5” swatch in question was taken from the flag in the 1800s.
How many stars and stripes are on the flag?
There are 50 stars representing the 50 states, and there are 13 stripes representing the 13 original states.
When are new stars added to the flag?
A new star is added to the flag on the July 4th following the entry into the Union of the new state.
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