On this day, June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the United States national flag. It had 13 stars and 13 stripes symbolizing the 13 original colonies.
For a while, the U.S. added stripes and stars to the flag when welcoming new states.
When Kentucky and Vermont joined the union, the flag took on two more stars from the original, so that from 1795 to 1818, 15 stripes and 15 stars graced the flag.
Anticipating a crowded field of stripes, lawmakers decided to honor each new state with a star, and leave the stripes at the original 13, after 1818.
The current flag, with 50 stars and 13 stripes, was designed in 1958 by 17-year-old high school student, Robert G. Heft, of Lancaster, Ohio. President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose his design out of 1,500 entries.