9 versions of America’s Stars and Stripes you’ve probably never seen

Happy Flag Day! Here are 9 versions of America’s Stars and Stripes and the history behind them.


1. Rebellious Stripes

sons of liberty

The Sons of Liberty adopted this flag in 1767. The nine uneven stripes represent the nine colonies protesting the Stamp Act of Congress of 1765.

Some notable Sons of Liberty members include Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry.

2. Continental Colors


The “Grand Union Flag,” also called the “Continental Colors,” is considered to be the first national banner of the United States.

The flag consists of 13 alternating red and white stripes and the British Union Flag in the upper left corner. The Flag Act of 1777 would call for a new flag that would not feature the British Union Flag.

3. Betsy Ross

besty ross

Although this flag is commonly attributed to Betsy Ross, some scholars believe that it is unlikely Ross contributed to the design of this banner.

It is unclear if the stripes and five-pointed stars mimic George Washington’s family coat of arms. 

4. Bennington


The Bennington flag is named after the Battle of Bennington during the American Revolutionary War. The banner features a large ’76’ in the canton, which recalls the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. The stars are also seven-point as opposed to the five-point stars on the Betsy Ross flag.

Another distinctive feature is the arrangement of its 13 stripes, with white being the outermost instead of the red stripe.

5. Fort Mifflin

fort mifflin

This flag was flown at Fort Mifflin and is largely based on the first official flag of the Continental Navy Jack. That’s because the Navy was operating near the Delaware River forts and their flag was largely the only one that the soldiers on Fort Mifflin could see.

The flag has 13 alternating stripes of red, white and blue, representing the thirteen colonies.

6. Great Star

great star

There are multiple ‘great star’ flags that feature star-shaped arrangements with 20, 26, 33, 34 and 36 stars.

This particular version of the flag reportedly flew over the Capitol dome in 1818.

7. Great Flower

flower flag

This flag is known as the “Great Flower” as well as the “Candy Stripe” flag because of the short red and white ‘candy stripes’ on the left side.

The pattern consists of 34 stars in a flower-like arrangement. 

8. Fort Sumter Diamond

fort sumter

The diamond-shaped pattern is made up of 33 stars and was flown at Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

9. Wagon Wheel

star wagon

There are 36 stars on this flag representing each of the states at the time. Six of the stars make a five-point star in the very center of two rings of circles.

Listen Live