A Gallery Of Patriot Flags

Stars And Stripes
     Designed By Arthur Lee


  This Stars And Stripes flag is a version that was designed by Arthur Lee, a commissioner to France in 1778 and 1779. Lee participated in the negotitations that led to the Treaty Of Alliance between the fledgling United States of America and France in February 1778. Lee, the brother of Richard Henry Lee, was not popular in the courts of France and Spain, and therefore was recalled in 1779, returning to the colonies in September 1780.

  On 20 September, 1779 in a letter to Henry Laurens, then-President of the Continental Congress, Arthur Lee described a flag of thirteen alternating (from top to bottom) white, red and blue stripes with a canton consisting of thirteen stars. Lee did not specify that the stars be any particular number of points, nor in any particular configuration.

  The flag that Arthur Lee described, as exhibited here, is a version illustrated on a flag sheet by J. Carlton Jones.