Vexillology is the study of flags.
The word comes from “Vexillum”, a flag-like cloth used by the Romans
The colors of the U.S flag are red, white, and blue -- white signifies purity and innocence, red signifies hardiness & valor, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.
Betsy Ross made the first U.S. flag reflecting the basic design that is still used today.
Since 1776, there have been 28 different versions of the U.S. flag.
On June 14, 1777, Congress adopted a resolution calling for a flag with thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and with a blue canton or “union”, with thirteen white stars.
On April 4, 1816, a new U.S. Flag scheme of thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and a blue canton on which a white star would be added for each state was made official. Each star would be added to the flag on the July 4th following the admission of the new state to the Union.
In flag design, the star is associated with unity, independence, or to represent the constituent parts of a nation.
Although the scheme of the flag was made official in 1816, the law regarding the exact layout of the flag was still vague. For this reason, a variety of star arrangements was in existence during the nineteenth century.
In 1912 the U.S. government specified official patterns, proportions and colors.
The latest version of the U.S. Flag showing 50 stars was introduced on July 4, 1960.
The U.S. flag was first referred to as “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key in 1814 when he wrote the poem, “The Defense of Fort McHenry”. This poem later became our national anthem.
The U.S. flag was first referred to as “Old Glory” by William Driver, a sea captain from Salem, Massachusetts, in 1824 when he cried out “Old Glory” upon seeing a flag given as a gift first untangled from the bow of his ship as it left the harbor. That flag is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
First U.S. Flag Displays
- Land battle during the American Revolution on August 16, 1777.
- A naval battle in the Pacific on March 25, 1813.
- In the Antarctica in 1840.
- At the North Pole on April 6, 1909.
- On the moon by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.