|The first flags were designed to represent the 13 colonies with 13 stars and 13 stripes. When Vermont and Kentucky joined the union in 1791 and 1792, this flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes, was adopted by a Congressional act of 1794. This was the only U.S. flag to have fifteen stripes. In 1818, Congress proclaimed that one star for each new state would be added on the 4th of July following the state’s admission to the union and there would be thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies. A 15 star and stripe flag flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and inspired the writing of the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
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