Letter: History of stars and stripes

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The Independent Online
Sir: Trevor Phillips ("The Union Flag has had its day in the sun", 16 August) claims the Union Flag is junior to Old Glory. True, the first American flag (1777) appeared 24 years before the current Union Flag (1801). However, that is not to compare like with like.

The first version of the Union Flag appeared in 1606, the cross of St Patrick being added in 1801. The first version of the American flag displayed just 13 stars in the canton, probably in a circle. As more states joined, the number of stripes and stars increased. In 1818 the flag reverted to 13 stripes. The current version dates from 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.


Harrow, Middlesex