U.S. Flag (1795 - 1818)
(1795 - 1818)
When Vermont joined the Union in 1791, followed by Kentucky the next year, the United States found itself with 15 states, but only 13 stars and 13 stripes on the national flag. A debate followed in Congress over whether the 1777 flag should serve as a permanent national flag, or whether the number of stars and stripes should be changed to reflect the number of states in the Union.
In January 1794, lawmakers settled the question by adopting a new flag with 15 stripes and a blue union of 15 stars.
Since the legislation creating the new flag was silent as to the placement of the stars, different arrangements were used by various flag makers. The most famous is that consisting of five staggered rows of three stars, as shown on the famous Fort McHenry flag that inspired the writing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814.