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Admissions of States to the Union
A handout at the flag-making booth

About the 1890 Flag we are making:

According to Joe Young, flag specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, the American flag was not completely standardized until the 20th century. The following are some developments:

    An 1818 law provided for the star of a new state to be added the following 4th of July. The red and white stripes signified the original 13 colonies, which are also represented as stars because of their statehood.

    In 1877 the American flag was changed to have 38 stars (see below: "Admission of States to the Union"), but the placement of the stars was not standardized. It was important that the blue field rested on a red or white stripe, however, and the 1892 Atlas shows a 44 star field resting on white.

    A 1912 law provided the standardization of the field of stars and the placement of stripes.

The flag we are making today has 43 stars, as allowed by the number of states admitted by July 4, 1890. Idaho was admitted on July 3, 1890; note below, however, that from July 4, 1877 until July 4, 1890 the flag had only 38 stars.

Admissions of States to the Union

1. Delaware - Dec. 7, 1787
2. Pennsylvania - Dec. 12 1787
3. New Jersey - Dec. 18, 1787
4. Georgia - Jan 2, 1788
5. Connecticut - Jan 9, 1788
6. Massachusetts - Feb 6, 1788
7. Maryland - Apr 28, 1788
8. South Carolina - May 23, 1788
9. New Hampshire - June 21, 1788
10. Virginia - June 25, 1788
11. New York - July 26, 1788
12. North Carolina - Nov 21, 1789
13. Rhode Island - May 29, 1790
14. Vermont - Mar 4, 1791
15. Kentucky - June 1, 1792
16. Tennessee - June 1, 1796
17. Ohio - Mar 1, 1803
18. Louisiana - Apr 30, 1812
19. Indiana - Dec 11, 1816
20. Mississippi - Dec 10, 1817
21. Illinois - Dec 3, 1818
22. Alabama - Dec 14, 1819
23. Maine - Mar 15, 1820
24. Missouri - Aug 10, 1821
25. Arkansas - June 15, 1836
26. Michigan - Jan 26, 1837
27. Florida - Mar 3, 1845
28. Texas - Dec 29, 1845
29. Iowa - Dec 28, 1846
30. Wisconsin - May 29, 1848
31. California - Sept 9, 1850
32. Minnesota - May 11, 1858
33. Oregon - Feb 17, 1859
34. Kansas - Jan 29, 1861
35. West Virginia - June 19, 1863
36. Nevada - Oct 31, 1864
37. Nebraska - Mar 1, 1867
38. Colorado - Aug 1, 1876
39. North Dakota - Nov 2, 1889
40. South Dakota - Nov 2, 1889
41. Montana - Nov 8, 1889
42. Washington - Nov 11, 1889
43. Idaho - July 3, 1890
44. Wyoming - July 10, 1890
45. Utah - Jan 4, 1896
46. Oklahoma - Nov 16, 1907
47. New Mexico - Jan 6, 1912
48. Arizona - Feb 14, 1912
49. Alaska - Jan 3, 1959
50. Hawai'i - Aug 21, 1959

* In the case of the first 13 states, the date given is that of ratification of the Constitution.