It all started back in 1777 when an emissary from a pro-colonist Native American tribe forced Congress to take action by demanding a kind of banner so that the scouts would not come under “friendly fired while on mission for the Continental Army during the battle for independence from Great Britain.
11 days later Congress presented the flag of the United States with 13 stripes, alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.
The flag changed throughout the years depending on how many states were added. As you can see in the first image the flag had many designs. Sometimes the stars where displayed in a circle, stars formed a star or other weird formations.
By 1912 and after 17 historical interpretations of the American flag Congress decided that it was time to adapt some graphic guidelines. These guidelines have been in place until today.