Q:

Why does the flag have 13 stripes?

A:

Quick Answer

The flag of the United States has 13 stripes because the stripes correspond to the first 13 colonies that declared independence from England. The stars on the flag match the current number of states in the union.

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Full Answer

Since the 1770s, the U.S. flag has gone through multiple changes. One of the first versions featured the thirteen stars with a British Union Jack in the upper corner. In 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that the flag should have thirteen stripes and thirteen white stars in a blue background. In 1795, the number of stripes and stars increased from 13 to 15. In 1818, President James Munroe signed a Congressional act that reduced the 15 stripes back to 13 to commemorate the original colonies. This act also raised the number of stars to 20 and stipulated that a star would be added with the admission of each new state to the union.

In 1912, President William Howard Taft signed an executive order standardizing the placement of the stars on the flag, and in 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order changing the arrangement of the stars to reflect the addition of new states to the union. As of 2014, the United States flag has 50 stars in alternating rows of five and six.

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Related Questions

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    How many red stripes does the American flag have?

    A:

    The flag of the United States of America has seven red stripes and six white stripes. Officially the red stripes signify valor and bravery, while the white stripes symbolize purity and innocence.

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  • Q:

    What were the 13 colonies?

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    The 13 colonies were the original British colonies in the Americas, which later banded together to stage the American Revolution and become the United States. These colonies were located along the East Coast and included Virginia, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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    How did the United States acquire Texas?

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    Texas was originally a part of Mexico, and about 10 years after winning its independence from Mexico, the United States allowed Texas to join the nation. It joined as a territory in 1844 and became a full state in 1845.

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    Why is the Fourth of July celebrated with fireworks?

    A:

    The United States celebrates the Fourth of July, or Independence Day, with fireworks as a tradition continued down through history since the initial year the country's independence was celebrated. The first celebration, which came one year after the Declaration of Independence was signed, began and ended with 13 fireworks being set off from the city's commons.

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