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On this day: The Stars and Stripes raised in battle


The American flag was flown in battle for the first time on September 3, 1777. General William Maxwell ordered the “Stars and Stripes” banner raised as a his troops met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops near Cooch's Bridge in Delaware.

The rebels were defeated and forced to retreat to Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania, where they joined General George Washington’s main force.

The Continental Congress adopted a resolution on June 14, 1777, stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

The national flag, which became known as the Stars and Stripes, was based on the Grand Union flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes.




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