Why 7 Red and 6 White Stripes

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. EmailPoster

    EmailPoster New Member

    Why 7 red and 6 white stripes...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2006
  2. sarahw

    sarahw Guest


    I don't think there really was a reason for seven red stripes and six white stripes. Many people have tried to attach symbolism to the colors that simply wasn't there when the flag was designed.

    Some say George Washington remarked that the red represented the mother country and the white was separating the red, a symbol of liberty. The theory, then, is that the white is intersecting the red so that's why red is on the top and bottom.

    Other symbolism attached to the flag includes that red is blood or courage and white is purity or innocence. Maybe you need more courage than you need purity when you're building a nation? OK, that was a joke, but I think the number of stripes of each color maybe can't be called a coincidence, there's no historic record of what the designers were thinking.

  3. ulv93@verizon.net

    ulv93@verizon.net New Member

    I would like to know what each color represents on the flag. Can anyone tell me?
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I would like to know what each color represents on the flag. Can anyone tell me?

    The colors of the US flag came from the colors of the British flag. The resolution that created the flag in 1777 did not say anything about the symbolism of the colors.

    When the Great Seal of the United States was adopted in 1782, the explanation of the seal said:

    "The colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue, the colour of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice."

    However, this was an after-the-fact explanation, because the flag had already existed for 5 years before it was written.

    Peter Ansoff
  5. ulv93@verizon.net

    ulv93@verizon.net New Member

    Thank you peter. I also heard that the red stood for the blood lost gaining our freedom. Is that true?
  6. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin


    I also heard that the red stood for the blood lost gaining our freedom. Is that true?

    Again, the colors don't officially stand for anything -- they're the result of our flag's descent from the British flag. Indivdual writers and poets have come up with lots of different ideas of what the colors mean to them, but those are just artistic license. Not all of their ideas are necessarily patriotic, either. A British poet in the early 19th century compared the red and white stripes to the scars on the backs of American slaves who were whipped by their masters.

    Thanks for joining -- hope you enjoy the forum!

    Peter Ansoff
  7. Captgio

    Captgio New Member

    Greetings Peter,

    Do you know where the stripes originated? Dutch Masters and the church. Go research the 7 pillars. Go read about Flag Author Richardson and his wifes flags that were debunked. 13 Stars and 7 stripes flag, merchants of CT and MA. The great seal and all flag documents where kept in Stratford CT for a time before Washington was built. The stripes are origin to the church going back to Holland and Calvinism! The Stripes are not origin to the Sons of Liberty, 13 Stripes symbolic to States united by the church. 13 white Stars representing states in a blue canton seperated from the Stripes or church control!
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hello, Captgio,

    Do you have any evidence for any of this? Stripes on flags have historically been used by many entities.

    Peter Ansoff
  9. Captgio

    Captgio New Member


    Read this document attached.
    EVERY American schoolboy knows that Betsy Ross made the first US flag for George Washington and the Continental Congress in 1777. It makes a pretty story, ...
    www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,861583,00.html - Similar

    I have studied Towers work and he is dead on! Read about the section Mass colonies and CT colonies, the 4 joined! This is when new England was called the United Colonies and then the United States! The Salem MA minister who made himsef famous for burning witches! He was upset and came to CT, he burned a women in Stratford CT to prove a point of his power and the church among the 4 colonies. Rev Davenport, wrote a document that states all ships of New Haven have to fly the striped flag of red and white in reference to the United Colonies as ordered by the the good Rev. of Salem, MA. This document is very safe and will be brought forth when the time is right.

    Please, note this and do not lose this Peter. When you read towers document he states 7 provinces of Holland and the he also states reformation! Who reformed the churchs in England and Holland. What famous minister/Dr. that did this work or is noted for doing this work? When i present some of my work this will be clearer to you in the near future. If you care about American flag history. Research ship paintings that show these flag belonging to CT/MA. Keep this in mind, that the church controlled the Government back then. Learn about the leaders of the 7 pillars of New Haven and Connecticut! 7 Stripes may have been in reference to them or the Colonies they controlled. Resolving this work is by researching the fathers of the church in New England.
  10. Gomac

    Gomac New Member

    Maybe a conspiracy theory there. If the 7 stripes come from Holland -
    At the same time as the American Revolution the flag of the British East India Company was between 9 and 13 red and white stripes with the union flag (union Jack) as the Canton.

    The British East India Company came to prominance after The Glorious Revolution in England (1688) (nor Great Britain since the union between England and Scotland occured in 1707). The Glorious Revolution was bloodless and followed on from the English Civil Wars in the early to mid 1600's when Parliament and King fought for power and led to England being a republic for 12 years. After the death of Oliver Cromwell, the monarchy was re-instated, however the second monarch in, King James 2nd was not for having the nonsense of thought that had emerged in England and he was a strong Catholic to boot, that the monarchy was born to serve and not to be served. Therefore in a few English Parliamentarians went to Holland and asked Holland to invade, which William Duke of Orange gladly responded.

    As a result of the invasion of England by Holland, William Duke of Orange became King of England (and Ireland - on a side note it's why there are Orangemen in Northern Ireland today) under the terms of the English Parliament, and that the natural order of things was "God, Parliament and then King". But also as a result the Dutch East India company, which at the time dominated trade to India was wound up in favour of the English East India company. The English East India comapny later became the British East India Company.

    therefore the flag could represent Holland, but also the pre-eminant company of the emerging British Empire. But more iterestingly when everything came to the boling point in 1773 and the Boston Tea Party, was the same year that the British Parliament (among stiff opposition) passed an act stating that land aquired by the East India Company would be for the Crown and not for the company.

    Is it possible that represention and taxation where not the real reasons for American Independence. But was orchastrated by the shareholders of the East India company and those in Parliament who were either against or apenthetic towards monarch, and were in a sense "getting back" at those who had gone against it and supported the taking of "it's land"? Those same people could have introduced the tea tax, knowing full well that it was going to be met with hostility.

    It is true that American Colonists fought in the English Civil war with the aim of getting rid of the monarchy, so it has long rootes, but the taxation issue is a myth, an American paid 1 shilling in tax to 7 paid by and Englishman.

    It'd be interesting to know if the founding fathers had any links to the East India Company.
  11. Gomac

    Gomac New Member

    further more in European warefare the "flag" or colours represented the country on monarch that you fight for, and to loose them to the enemy would be a disgrace. The American revolutionaries fought under the flag of the East India Company, like the soldiers of the East India company in India. The implication being American revolutionaries were fighting for the East India Company under the Grand Union Flag
  12. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Gomac -- welcome to the Forum!

    The implication being American revolutionaries were fighting for the East India Company under the Grand Union Flag

    Sorry, but all of this just doesn't make very much sense. The East India Company could not have acquired land in the American colonies -- its charter specifically limited its trading activities to areas east of the Cape of Good Hope. The tea shipments to Boston and the other colonies were a specific exception made by the Crown to assist the Company and provide the colonists with tea at reduced cost. The ships that brought the tea to America were not Indiamen, but ordinary merchant ships chartered for that particular voyage. Part of the motivation for the Tea Parties was that the shipments were undercutting the colonists' own smuggling activites. The Americans regarded the EIC as one of the bad guys -- later in the Revolution, they even named one of their ships after an Indian leader who was fighting against the EIC.

    Many people, including Charles Fawcett in his famous 1937 article, have tried to invent a rationale for the American Revolutionaries copying the EIC flag, but none have ever really done so. If there was a relationship, it was probably just the concept of "differencing" the British Red Ensign by adding stripes. We'll never know who actually came up with the deisgn of the Continental Colors, but it was probably one of the people involved in outfitting the American squadron in Philadelphia in the fall of 1775.

    As for CaptGio's discussion about the origin of the stripes, I guess my reaction is like the folks from Missouri -- "show me!" Stripes have been used on the flags of many different nations and entities over the centuries, including England, the Netherlands, Catalonia, Bremen, Portugal, etc. etc. All this proves is that stripes are a common and highly-recognizable motif.

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  13. Steve Mitch

    Steve Mitch New Member

    Here's my theory, don't shoot me down guys as its only an idea.

    I'm new to the site and have read only a few posts, mainly regarding the origins of the stripes on the star spangled banner. A little know fact outside of my home town is that Washington UK (now within the city of Sunderland) is the ancestral home of the first president of the United States - George Washington.

    A quick look back in history reveals that the Washington (UK) coat of arms is made up of horizontal red and white stripes with stars along the top. Is this a coincidence?


    washington website history

    Thanks for your time.

    Steve Mitch
    Washington UK
  14. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Steve! Welcome to the forum!

    The story about Washington's coat-of-arms was discussed in this earlier thread:


    The idea that Washington's arms were related to the design of the US flag has been around for a long time. The most complete version of the argument was in a pamphlet published by Edward Tuffley, of Northhampton, in 1883. However, his arguments (and all the others that I've heard of) are of the "could have" variety, and are unconvincing. The bottom line is that nobody has ever produced any actual evidence that the design of the US flag was influenced by Washington's arms, and it would not really have made any sense in the context of 1775-77.

    Washington's arms are familiar to anyone who lives here in the Washington DC area, because they were the basis for the flag of the District of Columbia. There's no dispute about that one!

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
  15. Captgio

    Captgio New Member


    Do not forget the Navy squadron you mentioned, the Alfred, was purchased by CT's Silas Dean when Barry Commanded the ship after her first voyage. The Alfred, including other ships were being prepared, outfitted in New London before the ships went to Philadelphia where the US Navys 1st Admiral, Commodore and Commander in chief took command, Commodore Hopkins.

    Hopkins is my wifes direct bloodline, Peter. Do you know why he was picked as the Navys first Commander? Not because of his Brother the Governor of Rhode Island, because of the family bloodline to going to the church, head of education the 1500's at OXford. The Hopkins were the Sheriff of London, Keepers of Westminster Palace, under the king, the lord who headed all the lords council for all English Colonial Migration at the palace,which includes the British EIC migration! The same family of Hopkins at the same time was the Lord of the British Amiralty, producing several British Admirals! This is why Esek was chosen as a Commodore of the 1st US NAVY, a real slap in the royal face of other family members in England! The US NAVY historians do not teach you this history, do they?

    Commodore Hopkins had a side kick, Connecticuts, Capt. Dudley Saltonstall who took command of the Alfred in Philadelphia. Why do you think he was chosen as Captain of the 1st US NAVY SHIP? Sir Saltonstall, the family was one of the lord's of the council at Westminster under the Hopkins Rule in the late 1500's into the 1600's involving the Pilgrims migration to MASS and CT.

    The New Haven church minister Davenport, including other church leaders made a deal with one of the B-EIC Governors of India. They requested money from this man who was rich and powerful, pretty corrupt in the company, when he was a boy he and his parents moved to the MASS Bay Colony for a while, I think his mother remarried one of the founders of Harvard. The money needed in New Haven was for creating a new school, you may know of this school. Named after the British East India Company member and Governor in India, Eliu YALE. The University recieved its name from the East India Companies own, Governor Yale.
    Connect the dots from the famous Divine, William Ames who United the Dutch and English Churches to the ministers of MA/CT, Calvinism!

    Steve, many people know of Washington's family arms having the 5 pointed stars. The History of the five pointed star usage in Colony and 1st US History may now be proven that it comes from Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Delaration of Indpendence. Two of his famous grandfathers were Major Simon Willard, who commanded the MA/CT forces in the King Philip's War, under his command was the commander of the Connecticut forces, Major Robert Treat, Paines other great grandfather. Treat became Governor of Connecticut, he was the one who refused to give up the charter when Governor Andross came to revoke MA and CT Colony Charters. When Treat was a boy he came to New England, on the same ship with SIR Richard Saltonstall, who was one of the founders/Governor of the MASS Bay Colony. Gov. Treats, personal seal, Governor seal is a heart with two arrows through the heart, above the heart is a five pointed star.

    Historians have always thought that the MASS Bay Colony or MASS State seal of 1780, depicting an Americian Indian native with a bow in hand, to the right of his head is a five pointed star. Historians messed up the history thinking the seal with the star was created in 1780, the star was added to the seal in 1776-1777 now proven as a fact. A historic cannon showing the seal with the star was found on a shipwreck, the seal is on the cannon, giving proof the seal with the star was made prior to 1780.

    The reason why these guns with this specific seal was made with the star was to symbolize the history of MASS BAY History. Specifically for matching the devices or wood carvings of the the US Navy Frigates, Hancock and Boston. This is the kicker, the ships were finished in 1776, underway before he MASS made foundry cannons were finished or completed. The British documented the Frigate Hancocks designs in Nova Scotia. The original designs exist in the British archives, the stern of the ship shows a large five pointed star next to a coiled snake.

    A famous ship model maker named "Hahn" did all the documention work and built these models showing the five pointed star. Whats the connection to Robert Treat Paine? Robert Treat Paine, member of Contiential Congress was appointed as chair person for making all CANNON in all the colonies by order of Congress. Roberts father Thomas was a minister, merchant ship owner/privateers and owned two foundries for making the first ever known cannons in the Americas.

    The five pointed star besides being English, Dutch, masonic as we know it, was first applied by these specific men in MASS John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Nathan Cushing, Thomas Cushing, specifically representing the Charter history and Connecticut not giving up the charter or freedom, prior to the American Revolution. Examine the Mass 1775 Seal before the 1780 Seal of Mass, shows the famous English patriot, during the English Revolution not giving up the Magna carta.

    A special note, Paine was also a minister bloodlined to the same ministers mentioned who were a part of founding Harvard. Paines, great grand father Major Simon Willard founded Concord. Robert Treats is also bloodlined to the Hopkins family, same line to Esek Hopkins. I think it has to do with religious leader blood lines, Eaton the minister was also a grandfather, the Hopkins grandfather line goes back to Stephan in the 1550's, the right hand man of a Cardinal of the English Church, that hopkins was placed in a prison ship, released by orders of Queen Elizabeth.

    Connecting the History of Masonic Stars, we know Washington has three five pointed stars on his family arms. Why did he use a six or eight pointed stars on his flag? We know masons use 5,6,8 pointed stars and Washington was a mason? Who was the head of all North American Mason, where was that Lodge located? Located in Boston, think these mason leaders had any say over anything, the man who swore George Washington into office Was a the cousin to the to Cushing's mentioned above.

    Going back to Major Willard, Treat, Pain, Cushing these men were also all Judges also members of courts, government. Check out the old english history "Star Chamber" Councils, connected the history of old Government, courts back to these families mentioned, Willard, Treat. The story goes the chamber was burned, said to have five pointed stars. Look up star chamber court and the purpose back in England, connect the history to the early MASS families mentioned!
  16. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    the Alfred, was purchased by CT's Silas Dean

    No, she was not. The Alfred was purchased by the Naval Committee of Congress for service in the Continental Navy. Silas Deane (note correct spelling) was a member of the committee. He was obviously involved in the decision to purchase her, but he did not do so himself.

    The Alfred, including other ships were being prepared, outfitted in New London before the ships went to Philadelphia

    No, they were not. The ships of the first Continental squadron were outfitted in Philadelphia, except for the Wasp and the Hornet which came from Baltimore. The squadron went to New London the Spring of 1776, when they returned from their cruise to the Bahamas.

    The US NAVY historians do not teach you this history, [about Commodore Hopkins] do they?

    No, probably because that "history" doesn't make any sense. Why would Congress care about who Hopkins' 16th century ancestors were? He was chosen because he was a prominent citizen, had naval experience as a privateer captain during the Seven Years War, and because his brother was a member of the Naval Committee and former Governor of Rhode Island.

    Why do you think [Dudley Saltonstall] was chosen as Captain of the 1st US NAVY SHIP? Sir Saltonstall, the family was one of the lord's of the council at Westminster under the Hopkins Rule in the late 1500's into the 1600's involving the Pilgrims migration to MASS and CT.

    Again, this makes no sense. Why would Congress care about Saltonstall's distant ancestry? He was probably chosen because Silas Deane, a member of the Naval Committee, was his brother-in-law.

    I won't try to untangle your speculations about the stars, except to note that the ones on Washington's arms were not actually stars in heraldic terms -- they were "mullets." "Mullet" is a corruption of the French "moulette" which is a spur-rowel -- the little jagged wheel on a horseman's spur. On coats-of-arms, mullets are sometimes depicted with a hole in the middle for the rowel shaft -- I've seen depictions of Washington's arms that show this. Mullets have been common elements of heraldic decoration since Medieval times. They are conventionally shown with five points, but not always. The number of points has no special significance -- they are still mullets.

    In heraldry, a "star" is something else altogether -- it has wavy points instead of straight ones. Nobody knows for sure why the stars on American flags ended up looking like mullets. My guess is that it was simply too difficult for flagmakers to cut out wavy stars, and they substituted straight-armed mullets because they were easier to make. That's just speculation, of course.

    Peter Ansoff
  17. extremejm

    extremejm New Member

    Actually I believe the reason for the first red stripe (and coincidently last) is a much simpler reason, albeit much less romantic. It was due to the fact that it is easier to see at sea with a first red strip rather than a white one.

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