On June 14, 1777, almost a year after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and almost eleven years before the Constitution of the United States was ratified by the required number of states, the Continental Congress, recognizing the need for a flag to symbolize unity and independence, adopted a design for a national flag for the new nation. That legislative body resolved that "The flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a field of blue, representing a new constellation." Since the stars represent the states in the union, the only change in the original design has been to add a star each time a new state has been admitted to the union of states.
One hundred and eight years after the adoption of the flag, in 1895, the Congress of the United States resolved that June 14 be designated as Flag Day. While it was not designated then as, and is not now, a legal holiday, Flag Day was established as a means for the nation to observe, in a meaningful way, the anniversary of the adoption of the flag.