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16 Star Flag -unofficial- (U.S.)

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
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[US 16 star flag 1796] by Devereaux Cannon and Dave Martucci, 3 July 1998

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Q: What is the 16 stripe and 16 star flag?

In 1795 the US flag law changed to have the flag go from 13 stars and stripes to 15 stars and stripes. However, no provision was made for recognizing the entry of new States into the union.

In 1796 Tennessee entered as the 16th State. Despite the lack of a change in the flag law, some people added additional stars and stripes to the flag. This is what eventually lead to the flag act of 1818. In 1817, during a debate in Congress on changing the flag law, Congressman Peter Wednover of New York discussed the lack of uniformity among US flags, and the lack of compliance with the law in their use. As illustrations, he pointed to the flag over the US Navy Yard, which had 9 stripes, and the flag flying over the capitol building, which had 18.

In 1995 I had two replicas made of a flag with 16 stars and stripes. The larger of the two, measuring 5 x 9.5 feet, flew over the Tennessee capitol on 6 February 1996 (the 200th aniversary of the adoption of the first Tennessee constitution) and on 1 June 1996 (the 200th anniversary of the admission of Tennesseee to the union). It is the flag which I will fly on my main flag pole on the 4th.

Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr., 2 July 1998

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