There have been 27 official versions of the American flag, starting with the first one in 1777 which displayed 13 stripes and 13 stars (for the 13 original colonies). When Kentucky and Vermont joined the union, the flag took on two more stars, so that from 1795 to 1818, 15 stripes and 15 stars graced the flag. It was this version of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose “The Star-Spangled Banner,” during the battle at Fort McHenry. Anticipating a crowded field of stripes, lawmakers decided to honor each new state with a star, and leave the stripes at 13, after 1818.
Historians aren’t sure why the U.S. flag was designed in red, white, and blue, but if you’re wondering what it means, look to another great American symbol: the Great Seal of the United States. The colors of the Great Seal, which was created in 1785 (two years after the original flag design), were adopted from the American flag, according to U.S. Government documents. Consequently, the significance of the colors was retrofitted for the flag from the explanation for the seal given by Charles Thomson, the Secretary of Congress in 1782.
In July 1969, Neil Armstrong placed the first American flag on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned landing. Five more Apollo moon landings—from missions 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17—resulted in five more flags being planted on the lunar surface. The United States is the only country in the world to land humans on the surface of the moon, though the U.S.S.R. and China have both landed unmanned spacecraft on the moon.
Triangle Flag Banner Clip Art