Flags have been used for thousands of years. Originally, they were carried in battles and wars as symbols of strength.
A bronze metal flag from the ancient Persian times dating back to about 2400 BC was found in a place called Shahdad in Iran. Known as the Shahdad Standard, this is the oldest known flag in the world. This flag closely resembles the modern flag, in that it is square shaped, contains an emblem and is mounted on a pole.
The oldest cloth flag was found in Egypt and it is believed to be from the third century AD. The Egyptians flew flags in battles many thousands of years ago. Their flags were made of streamers tied to long poles. Later, the Greeks and Romans followed suit.
Use of flags was traced back to ancient China and India. Flags were said to have been carried on chariots and elephants in India as early as 4000-5000 BC. The flag usage spread from India and China to other parts of southeastern Asia.
During Medieval times, European knights used flags as heraldic devices to identify themselves in battles. European nations began adopting flags to represent their countries in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. During late Middle Ages flags have come to represent countries, cities, kings and organizations. The use of national flags became commonplace during the 18th century throughout the world. At present time every country is represented by a national flag.
The first official United States flag was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14th 1777.
It consisted of thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, each representing the original thirteen colonies. After undergoing many modifications, the present day version of the flag was adopted on August 21, 1959. The thirteen stripes and 50 stars now on the U.S. flag represent the original thirteen colonies and the current 50 states.
About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi is an avid reader and enthusiast of History ranging from ancient times to present. Whether it is the United States history or the world history, Amita Vadlamudi takes an equally curious interest.