Flaggengeschichte der USA
Depictions are only in the German version availiable.
Until the breakout of the independence war the British colonies in North America had no real flag. Temporary there was a flag for New England, the six northeastern colonies: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. This showed a George-Cross with a tree in the upper canton, however late appears this flag as upper canton in the Red and Blue Ensign. From the year 1707 was the Union Jack set into the upper cantons of the national flags of the British colonies, t.m. that in the American colonies was to use the British Red Ensign as national flag. If this flag carryed official Badges, is unknown.
A first red-white striped freedom flag was already in use in Boston in july 1769, and again in the year 1773 on the occasion of the "Boston Tea Party". The five red stripes on her represent mayhap the New England colonies. In October of 1774 was hoisted up in Taunton, Massachusetts a Red Ensign with the motto "Freedom and Unity". A further signal of resistance was the setting up of "freedom trees".
The pine-tree-emblem arises in New England in a very early juncture and may be equated afterward with the freedom tree. A further popular emblem of this time was the rattlesnake with the belonging slogan "Dont treat on me". The snake waa a typical American symbol and was afterward pictured in thirteen parts. In the first fightings near Lexington and Concord there was no special flag on American side, may be the "Bedford-flag", may it was an old cavalry standard from the English civil war, which was shown in this occasion. The usage of the Red Ensign with a slogan in the flying end, the old Red Ensign with the pine-tree-flag in the upper canton or a simple pine-tree-flag seem to were some of the possibilities of the Americans. Likewise was in the view a rattlesnake flag, like it was proposed by Colonel Gadsden (South Carolina). It was yellow with the rattlesnake and the slogan. An in 1775 in Pennsylvania established regiment used a Red Ensign with a rattlesnake badge in the flying end (Proctor's Independent Battalion, Westmoreland County). A striped flag with a rattlesnake was in use by the navy of South Carolina. The by Washington in the Massachusetts Bay sendt ships used the pine-tree-flag from September in 1775. This flag carryed the motto "Appeal to Heaven".
As general George Washington gets on 3rd of july in 1775 to the supreme commander of the army of the British colonies in America, was it needed, not only to transform the military colonial units to a uniform army, but to adope a common flag, too. In this way was created a flag cloth with thirteen horizontal stripes - red and white - after the number of colonies and with the British flag in the upper canton. It is named today "Grand Union"-flag or "Continental Colors". The existence of the British Union Jack expressed presumably, that the leaders would remain loyal toward the British king. Possibly it was in use already on 3rd of december in 1775 in Philadelphia on American vessels, however there speaks considerable more for that, that it was hoisted up for the first time on the Prospect Hill in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the Gontinental Army encamped on 1st of january in 1776 . It became the general flag of the colonies, in addition to the rattlesnake flag, with which it was combined sometimes. After the successful combat of the colonial army against the British army blows this flag on the occasion of the explanation of independence on 4th of july in 1776.
It was in use till the
14th of july in 1777, as the congress determined, that stars should appear in the upper
canton, whose number as well as the number of the stripes correspond with the number of
the members of confederation. In this way the British flag was removed from the upper
canton, and compensated by a blue field, which was filled with thirteen white stars.
By a legend, should Betsy Ross made the first flag in assignment of Georg Washington. How the flag looked exactly, is however not known, because it not survived. By reading of the text of statute is not to distinguish, how the stars should be arranged, because there was only spoken about a "new constellation". The thirteen white five-jagged stars may be arranged in a circle or in several lines, too. In the first known depiction from the year 1778 or 1779 the stars lie in row. Today is not known, too, why the Union Jack actually was substitute by a "new constellation". This effective combination from stars and stripes found imitation anyway in the whole world. Before the creation of the star-banner had practically no flag stars. Since then they are to find on thousands of flags.
On that point in time, as Vermont and Kentucky became members of the confederation (1791/1792), the number of stars ans stripes was heightend since the 1st of may in 1795 onto fifteen. In the following year was none changing of the flag adoped from the congress, although the number of members always increases. The manufacture of new flags was namely to expensive. Over there out threatens the danger, too, that with a high number of horizontal stripes, primary on open sea, the flag could lost her good visibility. In 1818 by the congress from there was adoped the principle, that the number of stripes returns to the initial thirteen. The number of stars on the other hand can be heightened, but only on the 4th of july, the independence day. On 4th of july in 1818 was so adoped the already third official American flag with twenty stars in the upper canton.
This practice is
maintained since then, and the current flag is already the 28th in sequence. Specification
for the designing of the flag were issued in 1912, and for the coluors in 1934. The exact
arrangement of the stars will be stated every time anew, if new stars join, which in newer
times were arranged always in row. In the today's blue upper canton are situated in this
way fifty stars, grouped in nine rows. In five of them are ever six and in four rows are
ever five stars.
Every union state has a flag, a seal and a state emblem, for instance a bird, a tree or a flower. The flags are from different origin and were formed to different times.