Are you familiar with the U.S. Flag Acts? There are laws governing the design and usage of the American flag. Known as the Flag Acts, they play an important role in our country’s history.
The American flag has been around for centuries. It originally appeared in 1777, and since then, the American flag has been revised dozens of times. But there are three Flag Acts that govern the American flag and its design. To learn more about these three Flag Acts and what they mean, keep reading.
#1) Flag Act of 1777
The first Flag Act was passed by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress responded to a petition calling for a Flag Act. Of all three Flag Acts, the Flag Act of 1777 was the shortest, stating that the American flag should feature “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
#2) Flag Act of 1794
The second Flag Act was passed by President George Washington in 1794. It sought to revise the flag’s design. Vermont and Kentucky were added to the Union in 1791 and 1792, respectively. The stars on the American flag, of course, represent the states. With two new states added to the Union, the American flag had to be revised to include two stars: one for each new state.
It’s important to note that the Flag Act of 1794 changed both the number of stars and the number of stripes on the American flag. It stated that the American flag should have 15 stars and 15 stripes. Throughout our country’s history, this is the only version of the American flag that had 15 stripes.
#3) Flag Act of 1818
The third and latest Flag Act was passed by Congress in 1818. Known as the Flag Act of 1818, it specified guidelines for the American flag’s design. The American Flag continues to use these same design guidelines set forth in the Flag Act of 1818.
The Flag Act of 1818 didn’t specify a definitive number of stars for the flag’s design. Instead, it stated that the American flag should have a number of stars that matches the number of states in the United States. If there’s a new state added to the United States, for example, the sewn American flags will be automatically updated to include a new star. Thus, lawmakers won’t have to pass another Flag Act.