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As a child in school we learned that the first American flag was created by a furniture upholsterer in Philadelphia named Betsy Ross. Legend has it that she was asked to create a flag by General George Washington. Historians have never been able to verify who actually made the first flag.
The first flag had 13 stars to represent the 13 colonies, and more stars were added each time a new State was admitted. The last stars were added when Alaska and Hawaii entered the Union in 1959. 50 stars for 50 states.
There have been many versions of the US flag since the first one in 1776. The flag that was flying in the 'dawns early light' in 1814 was a 15-star, 15-stripe flag. Francis Scott Key saw it flying defiantly over Fort McHenry after the Battle of Baltimore when he wrote the words to the poem that became our national anthem in 1931.
0 say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I've heard visitors to the United States exclaim over the number of flags they see flying in this country. I think most people are proud of the principles that this country was founded on and many homes proudly fly the flag.
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