The Unofficial Flags of the US


Since the United States first adopted the stars and stripes as the official flag design on June 14th 1777, it has been changed 27 times. At first an additional stripe as well as a star were added to the new flag when new states were recognized. That resulted in the only 15 star and 15 stripe US flag on May 1st, 1795. This is the flag, though, that Francis Scott Key noticed “…was still there” during the bombardment of Baltimore in 1814. However, beginning in 1818, the stripes were kept at 7 red and 6 white for a total of 13 and only a star would be added with each new state.

Obviously any US flag is collectible to a certain degree, certainly those of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. But there are certain US flags that are more collectible than others simply because they were created to fill a need that didn’t arise. A new state that was expected to enter the Union, simply didn’t and the flag created to celebrate this new state never became official. So, which flag had the “wrong” number of stars:

– a 14 star flag
– a 16 star flag
– a 17 star flag
– an 18 star flag
– a 19 star flag
– a 22 star flag
– a 39 star flag
– a 40 star flag
– a 41 star flag
– a 42 star flag
– a 47 star flag

Always, count the stars. If you come across any of these flags, they are particularly valuable based on the number of stars they weren’t supposed to have. And let WorthPoint know you have it, too.