How Americans mark a tradition more than 150 years old commemorating the day the stars and stripes came into existence
The celebration was officially recognized by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, to mark the date in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress selected the American flag.
Although not an official federal holiday, Flag Day is observed widely across the United States in a number of ways.
Flag Day is celebrated every year on 14 June to commemorate the date on which the flag of the United States was first raised.
The earliest reference to a flag day being marked in America was in 1861, when the city of Hartford, Connecticut, is recorded as having held a “programme of patriotic order” on 14 June.
Although officially declared in 1916, a National Flag Day was not established by an Act of Congress until 1946.
At first, the Flag Resolution adopted by Congress did not specify a particular arrangement of stars, or how many points the stars should have.
Early flags bore 13 stars, to represent the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Empire in 1776.
There are many examples of 13-star arrangements on these early flags, one of the most famous being the “Betsy Ross”, which displayed five-pointed stars in a circle.
Dozens of designs have been used since the United States adopted the star spangled banner almost 250 years ago.
The flag gradually began gaining more stars as the number of states in the union grew until 1960, when the 50th and final state, Hawaii, was incorporated.
When Alaska and Hawaii became the last two states, more than 1,500 designs were submitted to President Dwight D Eisenhower for consideration.
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