Weekly Highlights: 06/11/2015
Flag Day Primary Sources
For Flag Day (June 14) primary sources, see the Library of Congress' Today in History (June 14).
Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.
June 14, 1777,
in Journals of the Continental Congress.
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag.
President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation in 1916 to establish a national Flag Day on June 14. Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949; the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year.
According to legend, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation. There have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers' preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag's forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The forty-nine-star flag (1959-60), as well as the fifty-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.
Search "flag American" on Prints and Photographs at the Library to find fascinating images.