Seeking independence from England and the British Crown, thirteen American colonies declared themselves sovereign and independent states. Their official flag is shown below.
In the early history of America, western borders of most colonies varied some from the modern-day state borders shown to the left - because in the west - the British still controlled vast territories up to the Mississippi River. At that time the colony of Virginia included all of the lands of what is now called West Virginia.
In the end the thirteen colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey were formed by mergers of previous colonies.