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In 1194 A.D., Richard I of England introduced the Cross of St. George, a red cross on a white ground, as the National Flag of England. Flag History.

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flag history
In 1194 A.D., Richard I of England introduced the Cross of St. George, a red cross on a white ground, as the National Flag of England.Flag History
the union of the crowns england and scotland
After Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne and became King James I of England. It was a Union of the Crowns, but not yet of the nations. Each country still kept their own parliaments.

Early in his reign James attempted to combine England and Scotland in a united kingdom of 'Great Britain'. This was the policy he presented to his first Parliament, called on 22 March 1604. The union was resisted.

James defied them. On 20 October 1604 he proclaimed a new title for himself as 'King of Great Britain'.

But what flag should be used?

A problem arose, which flag should be hoisted on the king's ships. English sailors resented the Scottish colours and the Scots scorned the cross of St. George .

The Union of the Crowns(England and Scotland)

When the red cross of England was put onto the flag of Scotland, a white border was added around the red cross for reasons of heraldry. (The rules of heraldry demanded that two colours must never touch each other.)On 28th July, 1707, during the reign of Queen Anne, this flag was by royal proclamation made the National flag of Great Britain, for use ashoreand afloat.

  • The Act of Union of 1707, joined England and Scotland together, creating a single kingdom with a single Parliament called 'United Kingdom of Great Britain.’ England Wales and Scotland were now united together under one monarch and one parliament.
  • Later on Ireland is added and the flag is changed again. Look here.
June 14, 1777 - The Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act stating, "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
the gadsden flag
The Gadsden Flag
  • Christopher Gadsden led the first U.S. Marines and used this flag during Revolutionary War
  • Widely used by Navy
  • Evolved from Ben Franklin’s “Join or Die” cartoon from F&I War
January 3, 1959 - An Executive Order from President Eisenhower stated that the stars would be arranged in seven rows of seven stars each.

August 21, 1959 - An Executive Order from President Eisenhower resulted in the stars being arranged in nine rows staggered horizontally and 11 rows staggered vertically.

Did you know?Robert G. Heft designed the current flag as a school project when Hawaii and Alaska were being discussed as possible states. He received a B minus for the assignment because his teacher said it lacked creativity. His teacher told him he would receive a higher grade if it was adopted by Congress, so he sent it on to his representative, where it eventually became the nations flag.
u s flag code
The U.S. Flag Code, adopted in 1942, prescribes flag etiquette to ensure that our national symbol is treated properlyU.S. Flag Code
b. The blue field on the U.S. flag is called the Union.

c. When displayed on a wall, the union should be uppermost and on the observer’s left.

e. Flying a flag at half-staff in an honored tradition which signifies the nation is in mourning due to the loss of a prominent citizen.
g. Section 8g states the flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, design, or picture placed upon it.

“The flag, when it is in such a condition that is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”


"Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown." (Flag Code, Section 8i)

"The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery." (Flag Code, Section 8d)

violate the flag code
Violate the Flag Code?
  • The are no official penalties for breaking the flag code. (no fines, jail time prescribed)
flag facts
Flag Facts

1. The U.S. Flag was adopted on June 14, 1777.

2. The Continental Congress declared “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.

3. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon to honor those who have died in battle.
lafayette we are here
Lafayette we are here…

4. Since 1834, the U.S. Flag has flown continuously next to the grave of Marquis De Lafayette in Paris, France.

no credible evidence supports the story
No Credible evidence supports the story.
  • William J. Canby, grandson
  • Started telling story in 1876
  • Story fills the need…
    • For stories to celebrate the centenial
    • For a female hero

The 15-star, 15-stripe flag was authorized by the Flag Act of January 13, 1794, adding 2 stripes and 2 stars for the admission of Vermont (the 14th State on March 4th, 1791) and Kentucky (the 15th State on June 1st, 1792). The Star Spangled Banner became the Official United States Flag on May 1,1795 and was the only U.S. Flag to have more than 13 stripes. It was immortalized by Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Sept 13, 1814.

6. Originally, both stars and stripes were added to the flag as new states joined the union. Eventually the number of stripes was set at 13 for the original 13 colonies/states.

the national anthem
The National Anthem

1. The Star Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812 by Francis Scott Key.

2. Key was a prisoner aboard a British ship and wrote the words during an attack on Fort McHenry

the national anthem1
The National Anthem

3. The original Star Spangled Banner is on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.