21 Star Flag

Date: 1819 - 1820

Description: Thirteen red and white stripes. Twenty-one five-pointed stars in blue canton (5-4-6-6 pattern). [E06]

This banner was the result of the admission of Illinois and served only one year. It was a year of antagonism over the expansion of slavery into the territories.

Alabama became the eleventh slave state to match the number of free states. Then Maine asked to be admitted as a free state. Senator Jesse Thomas of Illinois proposed that with the exception of Missouri, no new slave states could be created out of the area designated as the Louisiana Purchase, north of the 3630' parallel.

After much political jockeying, Congress voted to accept Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state.