Source: Veteran’s Admin; www.usflag.org; “Our Country & Our Flag” by R.H. Newcomb
“The Continental Congress made the Stars and Stripes the official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. The language of the original resolution reads ‘Resolved that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars while in a blue field representing a new constellation.’ Not long after the adoption of the flag, new States were admitted to the Union, but were not represented in the flag by either stars or stripes.
An initial change was made when Vermont and Kentucky were given representation in 1795, and two additional stripes were added, one red and one white, along with two additional stars. This design endured until 1818, when the new State of Illinois appealed to Congress to redesign the flag to include the newest added States. On April 4, 1818 Congress changed the design back to the original 13 stripes, with the stars to be increased to cover each State as it was admitted, with the addition to be on the next July 4th following their Statehood.
The Continental Congress defined the significance of the colors in the following language: ‘White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue signifies Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.'”
Rules of Display
“When the U.S. flag is carried in parades, it must be well in front, and if other flags appear then the U.S. flag must be at the extreme right.
When displayed horizontally or vertical against a wall, the U.S. flag must have the union up and to the right; i.e. to the left of a person facing it. When displayed on halyards with other flags, the U.S. flag must always be at the peak. There is one exception to this rule. During church services on warships or military bases, the flag of the church is displayed above the U.S. flag. When church services are over, the church flag is removed and the U.S. flag is again flown from the peak. When displayed over a street, the union of the U.S. flag must be to the North or East.
When draped over a casket for a military funeral, the union of the U.S. flag must be at the head and over the left shoulder of the body of the honored deceased. When displayed in a church, the U.S. flag should be placed as to be to the right of the congregation as it faces the clergyperson.
The U.S. flag must never be used for advertising purposes; it must never be allowed to touch the ground or trail in water; and as a flag, it must not be used as drapery or decoration. The U.S. flag should not be allowed to fly all night unless illuminated; and where ever possible, should be protected from bad weather. When the U.S. flag can no longer be shown with respect and admiration, because of wear and tear caused by display, then the flag should always be quietly and respectfully removed and privately burned.”