The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) salutes our “Stars and Stripes” flag on this, its 245th year of being standardized. Flag Day began July 14, 1777, when Congress made it mandatory for the United States flag to have thirteen stars and thirteen stripes. A few years later, when two new states (Vermont and Kentucky) entered the Union, Congress passed a new Flag Act that allowed for two new stars and two new stripes. A generation later, Congress realized that the pattern of the flag would change so far as to be unrecognizable if stars and stripes continued to be added. So in 1818, the third Flag Act mandated that a new star could be added, only on the date of July 4th/Independence Day, but that the number of stripes would remain at 13 to represent the original 13 states.
Interestingly, if a 51st state came into the Union today, the flag’s design might change dramatically. If Puerto Rico, for example, became a U.S. state rather than remaining a United States territory, their pro-statehood New Progressive Party proposed flag would have the field of blue containing 51 stars in concentric circles! You can see this design and other proposed 51-star designs at the Flag Institute website here.
Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are both mentioned as possibilities for new states. If one or both became states and our flag changed, this might be the first substantial change in our flag design in over two hundred years, but definitely the first added state(s) in over 60 years. Hawaii entered the Union on August 21, 1959, which meant its star was added to the flag on July 4, 1960.
The United States flag represents the country, but also represents the country’s people…especially her Veterans, who have fought for her both domestically and abroad. The VLB is proud to celebrate Flag Day and all the Veterans here in Texas.
The VLB is happy to provide any needed help for these American heroes. The mission for the VLB is “to ensure that we offer the very best package of Veterans benefits in the country and those of us who work for the VLB strive to meet those goals every day. For more than 70 years, we have had the honor to serve Veterans, Military Members and their families in Texas, and we look forward to keeping that promise in the years to come.” Call 1–800–252–8387, email VLBinfo@glo.texas.gov, or visit vlb.texas.gov to see the different benefits available.
If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service. Click Here to Sign Up to stay informed on your benefits with the Texas Veterans Land Board.