The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the "union") bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Star-Spangled Banner.
While the U.S. Flag has bared a similair design throughout it's entire lifetime, the "Union" section of the U.S. Flag has undergone some slight yet noticable changes. Over the years, because more states have entered the Union, more stars have been added to commemorate each state in the Union. There are currently 50 states. Therefore, there are currently 50 stars in the "Union" section of the flag. Only official States within the U.S. are counted in this way. As a result, there are no stars for certain U.S. properties such as American Samoa or Puerto Rico.