The Stars and Stripes Forever 1

The Stars and Stripes Forever

In 1818 Congress passed a plan which would come to be known as the Flag Act of 1818.  This act established many of the characteristics of the flag we know today.  The flag of the day was changed to include 20 stars, one for each of the states then admitted to the Union but the number of stripes was reduced to 13 to honor the original 13 colonies.  The Act also specified that new versions of the flag would become official on the first 4 July following the admission of new states.
It would not be until 1912, with the adoption of the 48 star flag, that the arrangement of the stars in the blue field would be standardized into the staggered arrangement of nine rows with every other row having five or six stars.