365 Stamps 110: Flag Day

Today, June 14, is Flag Day in the USA.

It celebrates the adoption of the “Stars and Stripes” flag design of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Scott US 2114 Flag over Capitol 22c 1985

The original design had one star and one stripe for each Colony/State. Great Britain was debating with us at the time which designation we would have.

The first international recognition of the Stars and Stripes came when it received its first salute from another country on February 14, 1778. A French ship saluted a ship commanded by John Paul Jones. Naval ships regularly salute one another, but this is the first time it was done under this flag.

The Second Flag Act was passed on January 13, 1794, increasing the Stars and Stripes to 15 of each, for two new states. After that new states would only receive stars and the stripes were cut back to only 13 for the original 13 states.

That flag was the version flown at Ft McHenry during the War of 1812, that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his Poem “The Star Spangled Banner,” which became the national anthem.

That same flag can now be seen at the National Museum of American History on the Mall in Washington D.C.



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