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The Grand Union flag was ordered by George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the new Continental Army, and was first raised on January 1, 1776 as a tribute to the new army. The thirteen stripes signified the original colonies, the Union Jack was retained in the canton as a sign of loyalty to the British.
The First Navy Jack flag is also known as Don’t Tread on Me, and the Rattlesnake flag. This flag is believed to have flown aboard the Alfred, flagship of the newly commissioned Continental fleet in 1776. American ships used this flag or one of several variations throughout the Revolutionary War.
The Gadsden flag is named after Colonel Gadsden of South Carolina. Commodore Esek Hopkins, of the new Continental fleet, began using the flag in February, 1776 when ships were put to sea for the first time. This flag became popular during tea party events in 2010 and beyond.
The Bennington flag was named after the decisive American Battle against the British in Bennington, Vermont . Patterned after other flags of the day but unusual in that the outer stripes were white instead of the usual red and the 13 stars were arranged in an unusual pattern in the canton. This flag was reproduced for display during the Bicentennial.
The First Stars and Stripes 1777, also call the Betsy Ross Flag, is considered the first official U.S. flag that was recognized internationally. It is the flag that the Continental Congress resolved on June 14, 1777 “That the flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the union be 13 white stars in a blue field representing a New Constellation.
The Star Spangled Banner was created by the Flag Act of May 1, 1795 adding two stripes and two stars. It was this design that inspired Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry on the night of September 13, 1814 to write the ballad that became our National Anthem. This design lasted until 1818 when Congress realized that it was not practical to add new stripes for each state. They passed the Flag Act of 1818 returning the flag design to 13 stripes. The last time a star was added to our flag was July 4, 1960 for Hawaii, our 50th state.