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The Flag of the United States of America

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“Above is a picture of an oil painting of the 39 official flags of the USA“– Paul Ebeling

The flag of the United States of America is the national flag of the United States. It consists of 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the “union”) bearing 50 small, white, 5-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of 6 stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of 5 stars.

The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the 13 British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the 1st states in the US.

Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Star-Spangled Banner.

The symbolism of the colors red, white and blue is drawn from heraldry and was not originally intended to apply to the flag. Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, discussing the proposed US Seal, gave symbolic meanings for the colors in the seal, drawn from heraldry, with white signifying purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifying vigilance, perseverance and justice. That came to be associated with the flag.

The origin of the Stars & Stripes design has been muddled by a story disseminated by the descendants of Betsy Ross. The apocryphal story credits Betsy Ross for sewing 1 of the 1st flags from a pencil sketch handed to her by George Washington.

No evidence for this exists either in the diaries of George Washington or in the records of the Continental Congress. Indeed, nearly a century passed before Ross’s grandson, William Canby, 1st publicly suggested the story in Y 1870. Ms. Ross ran an upholstery business, and she had never made a flag as of the supposed visit in June 1776. Furthermore, her grandson admitted that his own search through the Journals of Congress and other official records failed to find corroborating evidence for his Grandmother’s story.

In Y 1986, President Ronald Reagan gave his interpretation declaring, “The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish. Red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.”

The current design of the US flag is its 27th; the design of the flag has been modified officially 26 times since Y 1777.

The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 yrs until the 49-star version became official on July 4, 1959.

The 50-star flag was ordered by President Eisenhower on August 21, 1959, and was adopted in July 1960. It is the longest-used version of the US flag and has been in use for over 60 yrs.

If a new US state were to be admitted, it would require a new design of the flag to accommodate an additional star for a 51st state.

The 1st US flag as designed by

Have a happy holiday weekend, Keep the Faith!

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Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge Including Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he is the author of "The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a highly regarded, weekly financial market commentary. He is a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to over a million cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognize Ebeling as an expert.