The Original 13 Colonies


The "Betsy Ross"
Flag; 13 Stars and 13 Stripes

Set to Represent the United States, the first official flag was in service beginning in 1777.

Although many versions of United States Flags were presented, the most recognized "Betsy Ross" flag became the first official flag of the United States.
 
Francis Hopkins, signer of the Declaration of Independence, (representing New Jersey) claimed to have designed the First American Flag.  His version used "six pointed" stars, arranged in a staggered pattern.  Most did not approve of this formation since its diagonal type design was too similar to the crosses of  St. George and St. Andrew that were used together on the British Flag.  Hopkins also arranged the stars in a circular pattern, using "six pointed" stars similar to the Ross design.  The circular pattern of 13 stars (representing The Original 13 Colonies) was said to be chosen to create the effect of all stars being equal to one another.
 
George Washington, George Ross and Robert Morris approached Betsy Ross, a seamstress and niece to George Ross, to ask her to sew a flag based on a rough sketch that George Washington presented.  This sketch may have been of Hopkins original design.  It was suggested by Betsy Ross that the Stars  have 5 points instead of six.  George Washington sat in the Ross's parlor and re-drew the sketch.  The flag was then sewn.
 
On June 14th, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a Flag Resolution, establishing the standards for the official United States Flag:
 
"Resolved that the flag of the United States be made of 13 stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
 
The shape and arrangement of the stars is not mentioned, but the description made the "Betsy Ross" flag official.
 


 
 


The parlor at the Ross residence where the meeting took place to discuss the design and sewing of the first American Flag





A room at the Ross residence which was used as a workshop for Betsy's trade in textiles





The exterior of the Ross residence in Philadelphia