The "Stars and Stripes" is a
popular name for the red, white, and blue flag of the United States. Another
popular name is the "Star Spangled Banner." This is also the name of
the national anthem of the United States.
Every country has its own flag. In
1776, the thirteen colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The
United States was born. George Washington was the general of the American Army.
He decided that the United States needed a flag, too.
There is a story that General George
Washington asked Betsy Ross to make the flag. She used three colors: red,
white, and blue. The color red was for courage, white was for liberty, and blue
was for justice. She sewed thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen white
stars in a circle on a blue square. The thirteen stars and stripes stood for
the number of states at the beginning of the United States. On June 14, 1777,
Congress voted this flag to be the national flag.
Later, new states joined the United
States. This was a problem for the flag. In 1818, Congress made another law
about the flag. The thirteen stripes stayed the same, but for each new state
there was a new star. Today, there are fifty stars on the flag. Hawaii was the
last star in 1959.