The Evolution of the U.S. Flag in 13 Photos

Ever wondered how the U.S. flag changed over time?  Here's a quick photo essay that shows the evolution from our independence to present day. 

 

US flag evolution, old flag photos, old flag pictures

In January of 1776, George Washington commanded his soldiers display the Grand Union flag on Prospect Hill as the British attacked. Although the Grand Union flag wasn’t officially approved by the Continental Congress, its 13 red and white stripes and British Union Jack were the perfect motivation during a trying time. This initial design prominently featured the British flag in the upper left-hand corner (the canton), as the Continental Army wasn’t officially fighting for freedom yet.

 

US flag evolution, old flag photos, old flag pictures

In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she had sewn the first American flag. Like the Grand Union flag, her version featured alternating stripes, though instead of a British Union Jack, the upper left-hand corner revealed a circle of 13 white stars. Since there were very few official guidelines for the way the stars should be arranged, a few conflicting versions of the flag were released in the year that followed.  Here are some examples below...

 

US flag evolution, old flag photos, old flag pictures