On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the United States Declaration of Independence. The American Revolutionary War, which began in 1775, continued until 1783 when the British Empire abandoned their claim to the United States. Like the war, the American flag took many years to become what flies so proudly today. Here are some parts of that journey:

  • During the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 14, 1777, the following resolution was adopted:

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 resolution was vague on instructions such as how the stars should be arranged and how many points the stars should have. This caused flags to be created differently across the 13 states with some flags scattering the stars without any specific design and others arranging the stars in rows or circles. The stars were also not consistent as some had six points and others had eight.

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