Flag Day 2017: Facts you should know

Flag Day serves to honor the American Flag, and to collect those which have become torn and tattered in the service of the country.

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 in honor of the adoption of the official American flag by the Continental Congress in the First Flag Act on June 14, 1777. The act declared the new flag “be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

Here are three other flag facts you should know.

1.     The First Flag Had No Stars

Before 1777, the British colonies in North America had a flag like today’s, but without stars. The Grand Union Flag had 13 stripes representing the thirteen colonies, and the top left inner corner contained the British Union Flag of the 18th century.

2.     There Is Controversy Over Who Created the First Flag

In grade school, we’re taught Betsy Ross created the first modern American flag in 1776. It’s believed Gen. George Washington visited Ross’ home and asked her to sew the first flag after showing her a rough design of the flag.

However, it is believed Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, designed the first American flag based upon letters and the congressional record at the time of the American Revolutionary War. A sketch of Hopkinson’s flag design does not exist today, so controversy continues around the exact origins of the modern American flag.

3.     There Could Soon Be a New American Flag with 51 Stars

Recently, Puerto Rico voted to become an official U.S. state. The current unincorporated territory of the U.S. has considered multiple times in the past to become a state, but it could soon be a reality. Members of Congress will ultimately have the final decision.

If you would like to take part in a Flag Day celebration in the Tampa Bay area click here

Editor's note: Information from NJ.com and Heavy.com.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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