On 14 June 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the U.S. The first Flag Act was passed on this day stating that "the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
Between 1777 and 1960, US Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union.
The colours of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valour, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
Today the number of stars on the US flag has grown to 50 from the original 13. Since 1818, the stars have represented every state in the Union.
They represented the thirteen American colonies which rallied around the new flag in their fight against the British for self-governance.
The thirteen colonies included Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.
14 June 1979: Ken Stewart, at Lasham airfield in Hampshire, England, flew seven-tenths of a mile (1136 metres) in a new aircraft called Solar One. The craft was powered by the sun.