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The United States Navy and the 20 Star Flag Usage
Furnished by John Sharp


 

20 Star Flag


coutesy of United States Embassy Stockholm

On April 13th, 1818 this became the Official United States Flag,
replacing the 15 Star Flag in use since 1795.

It remained the Official Flag until July 4, 1819

 


The United States Navy and the 20 Star Flag Usage
Furnished by John Sharp

 

      In an age before electronic signals it was important for all naval vessels and their crews to recognize friend or foe and national flags were the paramount method. The Navy Board was charged with making sure that everyone in the US Navy was using the standard issue flag.

      The orginal letters which have neat sketches done by the Navy Board Clerk of the proper 20 star flags.

      Commodore John Rodgers, President of the Board of Navy Commissioners on 15 May 1818 sent this letter to Commodore Isaac Hull at Boston Navy Yard advising Hull on the new flag.

 

								Nav commissioners off 
									15 May 1818


Sir 

		In reply to your letter of the 6th ins upon the subject of the national flag 
The navy commissioners have to inform you that agreeably to the Act of Congress of 4th 
April 1818 instituted as "an act to establish the flag of the United States", the flag is from 
& after the 4th Day of July next to be-
	13 horizontal Stripes alternate red & white
		The Union to be 20 stars, white in a blue field; one star to added on the 
admission unto the Union of every new State-

	The dimensions of the flag must be in the width and length as 14 feet to 24 feet-
 The Union to be in breath 1/13ths of the breath of the flag & 1/3 of the length of the flag in
 length - The manner of arranging the stars you will perceive by the following sketch 



		
 


				Respectfully

						John Rodgers President  



Capt Isaac Hull 
	      Boston 

 

 

 

      This 1818 circular went out from the Board of Navy Commissioners to all US Navy vessels, Navy Yards and Naval Stations.

Circular 					Navy Comm Off			
						18 May 1818

	Sir 

	The navy commissioners have to inform you that agreeably to the Act of 
Congress of 4th April 1818 instituted as an act to establish the flag of the United States, 
our National flag is from and after the 4th Day of July next to be
	13 horizontal Stripes alternate red & white
The Union to be 20 stars white in a blue field; one star to added on the admission unto the 
Union of every new State - such addition to be made from & after the 4th of July next 
successive the date of such admission 
	The Size of the flag must be in the proportion of 14 feet in width and 24 feet in 
length - the field of the Union must be 13 ft of the length of the flag & 1/13ths of its 
depth- so that from the top to the bottom of the Union there will be 7 stripes & 6 Stripes 
from the bottom of the Union to the bottom of the flag.  The manner of arranging the 
stars you will perceive by the subjoined sketch 
				

To 					Resp			

Capt Spence
Capt Evans 
Capt Hull
Capt Campbell		           		
Capt Cassin 
Capt Dexton
Capt Leonard
Comm Mc Donough			[signed] John Rodgers President 
Comm Tingey 
Comm Murray
Capt Patterson

 

 

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