How Many Stripes Are on the U.S. Flag?

many-stripes-u-s-flag Credit: robinzeggs/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

There are 13 stripes on the U.S. flag. The stripes are arranged horizontally and alternate between red and white. Both the top and bottom stripes are red.

The first U.S. flag commissioned by Congress in 1777 had 13 stripes to represent the 13 states in the union. The flag also contained 13 stars on a blue field, again representing the states. As the nation grew, a new star and a new stripe were added for each new state. This continued until 1818. At that time, Congress decided that the stripes would revert to 13 in honor of the original 13 states, and stars would only be added as new states joined the nation.