American 20 Stars

Date: 1818

Description: Thirteen red and white stripes. Twenty five-pointed stars in blue canton (5-5-5-5 pattern). [E05]

The Second Flag Act of 1818.

Soon it became evident that the addition of another stripe to the flag for every new state would create confusion. Accordingly in 1818, Congress passed an act providing that after July 4th of that year the flag would show thirteen stripes, and 20 stars, and that in the future a new star, but no new stripes would be added as new states were admitted to the Union.

Peter Wendover, Congressman from New York, chairman of a committee designated to design a new flag, and his assistant, Captain Samuel Reid are credited with the luminary design.

The law was passed on April 4, 1818. It was called "An Act to Establish the Flag of the United States". There was not, however, any provision in this bill stating how the stars should be arranged. Mrs. Reid, wife of the Captain, made a flag and arranged the 20 stars in the form of a "great luminary". It was hoisted over the dome of the Capitol on April 13, 1818.

Later, 20 star flags were arranged in the 5-5-5-5 pattern as the one in this collection. E19. A 35 star flag in this collection uses the stars in the luminary design. No arrangement of stars became official until 1912.

History of all Stars and Stripes flags . . .