The first American flag is reported to have been sown by a woman named Betsy Ross in 1776. The American flag has changed some over time, but it has always had a similar design, with all the elements of the flag representing the same things over time.
To start, the American flag is a rectangle. Within this rectangle there are thirteen horizontal stripes of alternating red and white color. There is also a blue rectangle in the top left-hand corner, with fifty small, white, five-pointed stars in the blue rectangle. The stars are in nine rows with alternating rows of five or six stars.
The 13 red and white stripes on the American flag represent the 13 original British colonies in America that declared their independence from Britain. These colonies became the first 13 American states. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 current states of the United States of America. Over the years more and more stars have been added to the American flag as new states have been added to the country. The first American flag had 13 stars arranged in a circle (as you can see below). All the other elements of the flag were the same though, as you can see in this picture.
The colors used in the American flag also have meaning. The red symbolizes ‘hardiness’ and ‘valor’; the white symbolizes ‘purity’ and ‘innocence’; and the blue symbolizes ‘vigilance’, ‘perseverance’ and ‘justice’.
The American flag has a few nick names you may have heard before and which are good to be aware of, these include: Old Glory, Stars and Stripes, and The Star-spangled Banner.