UNITED STATES — June 14 is Flag Day in the United States, honoring the adoption of the first U.S flag by the Second Continental Congress.

June 14 is also the U.S Army’s birthday. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress adopted “the American Continental Army.”

The Continental Colors, also known as the Grand Union flag. Photo: Ed Uthman

At the beginning of the American Revolution, prior to the formation of the Continental Army, colonist regimes fought under their own flags. The newly formed army then fought under one flag, the Continental Colors but it was quickly understood that the flag, with thirteen red and white stripes and a Union Jack in the corner, was too similar to the British flag.

While famed Revolutionary War seamstress Betsy Ross has been personified to be the creator of the first American flag, the story is not supported by historical evidence. The lesser known Francis Hopkinson, a delegate from New Jersey who signed the Declaration of Independence, designed the first American flag.

On June 14, 1777, Congress passed the Flag Resolution that stated, “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. Then on August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress but Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. 

How did the flag get it’s 50 stars?

In the 1950s 17-year-old Ohio student Bob Heft borrowed his mother’s sewing machine and added two additional stars, making 50, in a proportional pattern. Alaska was in the midst of moving from a territory to a state and Heft expected Hawaii would also soon become a state.

Heft’s new flag was passed along by his teacher to his congressman and eventually to President Eisenhower after Alaska and Hawaii became states. Eisenhower selected Heft’s design and On July 4, 1960, the two raised the new 50-star flag for the first time.

A flag disposal box was recently installed in Teton County at the County Administration Building. The public can place worn-out flags in the flag box any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday,  8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.