George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

U.S. Flag

Today, our nation’s flag consists of 7 red stripes alternating with 6 white, and 50 white stars on a blue background. The stripes represent America’s 13 original colonies, while the stars represent its 50 states. The American flag did not always look like this, however. Congress passed the first Flag Act in 1777, which determined that America’s first flag would consist of 13 stripes alternating red and white and 13 stars. Between then and 1960, multiple Flag Acts were passed until the nation’s flag reached its final form. The U.S. flag brings pride to all Americans as a symbol of our nation’s strength, unity, and freedom.

“Resolved: that the flag of the 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 Continental Congress’s official statement on the flag

”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.”—George Washington

Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross is popularly believed to have sewn the first American flag.

The flag has many popular nicknames, like Old Glory, The Stars and Stripes, and The Star-Spangled Banner.

The current U.S. flag has been used since 1960 and is the 27th form of the flag.