There’s a legend that the first-ever American flag comprised of a completely different set of stars—not the popular 5 pointed, but 6-pointed stars; or the Star of David. This was before independence, mind you—back in 1776. Although this has been debated on and off, the current 50-star flag of the United States was designed in 1958 by Robert G. Heft—a high school student only 17 years of age. 17 years of age and designing the US flag!
There’s one thing that goes quite without saying though, and that is the several changes that the American flag has gone through over the years. In total, the American flag has seen some 27 versions, all official and not some fan service by other patriotic high school students.
And if you think that’s all that’s quirky about the American flag, then you’re in for a ride!
The Original Flag
The original flag—as far as we can surmise from the many debates and discussions about the famed flag—had only 13 stars and 13 stripes, which represented the 13 original colonies.
More Stars, Less Stripes
As new states were added to the country, stripes and stars were added to the flag. At one point—and this was between 1795 and 1818—the flag had more stars than stripes when Vermont and Kentucky joined in.
The Original Design Beat 1,499 Entries
Robert Heft’s flag design was chosen from an entourage of 1500 entries, and was selected by the then President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Nobody just came up with red, white, and blue because they felt like it. The colors, in fact, have a whole set of meaning to them. The red stands for valor and courage, the blue stands for justice and vigilance, and the white stands for purity.
Retiring a Flag
When a flag is no longer in the state for use, it has to be retired respectfully, for instance by burning.
The Flag has to be Illuminated at Night
There are federal laws and regulations that dictate that the flag is to be displayed as long as there is light, that is, from sunrise to sunset, and in order to be displayed at night the flag has to be properly illuminated.
The Flag Visited the Moon!
When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon back in 1969, he carried and placed the flag on the satellite, making it the first-ever flag from Earth to have been in a place that was outside the Earth!
June 14 is, officially, National Flag Day over the country, in honor of the Flag Resolution. This was decided by President Woodrow Wilson back in 1916, on the 30th of May.
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