The Texas Veterans Land Board salutes our flag today, on the national recognition of Flag Day. June 14, 1777, was the date when Congress passed the Flag Act, standardizing the American flag with thirteen stripes and thirteen stars. However, a few years later in 1794, when two new states had entered the Union (Vermont and Kentucky), Congress passed another Flag Act allowing a fifteen stripe flag with fifteen stars. This flag is actually in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, as it was the “Star-Spangled Banner” flown over Baltimore Harbor as Francis Scott Key penned our national anthem on the back of an envelope during a battle in the War of 1812.
In 1818, Congress would realize that the stripes and stars, if allowed to change with each state, would soon make the flag unrecognizable. They passed a third Flag Act, returning the flag to thirteen stripes to represent the original thirteen colonies, and allowed for one new star to be added for each state, only on July 4th. The field of stars has changed since, but the overall design of the flag has remained the same. Interestingly enough, if Puerto Rico or Washington DC were to become the 51st state, the flag would need to change for the first time since 1959. The proposed flag for that possibility has 51 stars arranged in the shape of a giant star on the field of blue.
We salute our flag on this day of remembrance and recall the millions of veterans over the course of history who fought under the Stars and Stripes. The Texas VLB honors that flag and what it means.
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.