When you hear “The Star-Spangled Banner,” think Kentucky’s flag. After the British attack on Fort McHenry in 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that would later become our national anthem.
The historic flag had 15 “broad stripes” and 15 “bright stars,” honoring 13 colonies and the 14th and 15th states, Vermont and Kentucky, respectively.
The 15-star, 15-stripe flag flew for 23 years. In the year 1818, Congress decided adding stripes for each new state was impractical. Vermont and Kentucky lost their stripes, and each state joining the Union earned a star on the following July 4.