features thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom
) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom
) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states; the 13 stripes the 13original colonies.
The flag is known asOld Glory
, and no one knows for certain who designed it. Most historians believe that U.S. Congressman, Francis Hopkinson was the original designer, while a few still believe that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, made the first one.
The seal was developed by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson at the direction of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1776. A final design was approved in 1782, and today (both sides
) are found on the back of the U.S. one-dollar bill, and often stamped onto specific documents, including foreign treaties and presidential proclamations.
was officially declared the National Emblem of theUnited States
by the Second Continental Congress in 1782. It was selected by the USA's founding fathers because it is a species unique to North America. It has become the living symbol of the USA's freedom, spirit and pursuit of excellence. Its image and symbolism have played a significant role in American architecture, art, folklore and music.
Note that"E Pluribus Unum" out of many, one
) was made popular during Revolutionary War times, and there is ample basis in Congressional actions, history and law for referring to it as a motto of the United States.
Originally a poem, it was composed by Francis Scott Key during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry;