First Navy Flag

Date: Designed in 1777.

Seven red and six white stripes. 3-2-3-2-3 arrangement of stars in the blue canton. Six pointed stars. [R19]

The congressional resolution called for 13 stars in the flag's canton, but it did not specify how the stars would be arranged, or how many points the stars would have.

Eight-pointed stars were the easiest to make, but by the early 1800's, practically all U.S. Flags had five-pointed stars called mullets.

It is believed that Frances Hopkinson designed this flag. He had been a delegate to the Continental Congress from New Jersey and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hopkinson became a member of the Marine committee of the Continental Congress on July 12, 1776. On Nov. 18, 1776, he became a member of the Navy Board. On June 14, 1777 Congress adopted the Flag Resolution from its Marine Committee. In 1780, Hopkinson asked Congress to reimburse him for designing the Stars and stripes and other devices. But the Treasury Board would not honor the request.