There are 27 legal flags flown throughout our history, with effective dates and state additions that changed the star field. By law, a star is added to the U.S. Flag on the 4th of July following the admission of a State(s) to the Union. contrary to popular belief the first official U.S. Flag was not the Betsy Ross Flag (13 stars in a circle) but the staggered star pattern shown as the 13-star flag. It is important to note that no U.S. Flag ever becomes obsolete. Each flag in this category is still a legal flag and may be flown at any time.
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