The United States Pacific Island Refuges, also known as the United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges, is a collection of small, remote, unpopulated islands in the Pacific Ocean that is administered by the United States government. Because they are considered territories of the United States, the islands are represented by the United States flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes.
The territories that comprise the United States Pacific Islands Refuges are Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, and the Midway Islands. The Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., is the agency responsible for managing the islands.
The official government specifications of the U.S. flag call for a width-to-length ratio of 1:1.9, with a blue field located in the upper left-hand corner of the flag measuring .5385 (or seven-thirteenths) wide by .76 long. Within the field are 50 five-pointed stars that measure 0.0616 in diameter, while each stripe is 0.0769, or one-thirteenth of the flag’s width.
Unofficial specifications have proven more popular with flag manufacturers and the general public, however, and one of the most commonly available sizes of the flag measures 3 feet wide by 5 feet long.
The current U.S. flag contains seven red stripes and six white stripes, which represent the original 13 British colonies that became the United States of America. The 50 stars, one for each of the 50 states, are aligned in nine alternating rows of six and five stars. This version of the flag was adopted on July 4, 1960, upon the admittance of Hawaii as the 50th state. It is the longest-serving version of the U.S. flag.
The Second Continental Congress officially adopted a national flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, and Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey, is credited with designing the first American flag in 1777.
In 1795, the number of stars and stripes increased to 15 to reflect the admission of Vermont and Kentucky. In 1818, Congress passed legislation specifying that the permanent number of stripes would be set at 13, a single star would represent each state, and that stars would be added as new states gained admission.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 as Flag Day, and the U.S. Congress passed legislation in 1949 confirming its annual observance on that date.