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history of THE U.S. flag
Although no one knows exactly who designed the first American flag, many historians believe that it was Francis Hopkinson that designed the first Stars and Stripes and that it was Betsy Ross sewed the first flag together.
In June of 1777, the first Flag Act was passed and designated the first official US flag to be made with 13 stripes of alternating red and white, and with 13 white stars on a blue field representing a new "Constellation."
In January of 1794, the flag was changed to include 15 stripes and 15 stars after May of 1795.
Later in April of 1818, the flag was updated to include 13 stripes and a star for each state in the union. Each additional state that joined the union since then has had their official star added to the flag on July 4th the year of their admittance to the union.
An executive order was passed in June of 1912 by president Taft that laid out the first official specific contruction details for the American flag. This executive order set up guidelines for the arrangement of the stars, proportions of the field and stripes, and called for the tip of the stars to point upwards.
Another executive order was passed on January 3rd in 1959 by President Eisenhower that expanded the arrangement of the stars to 7 rows with 7 stars staggered both horizontally and vertically. In August that same year, the arrangement of the stars was changed to include 9 horizontally staggered rows, and 11 vertically staggered rows with the addition of Hawaii.
The latest version of the flag has remained unchanged since 1960.