MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Everywhere you look this holiday, you’re going to see some red, white and blue. But how did those colors become our national colors?

According to “The Flag,” a book published by the House of Representatives in 2003, the first flag bearing any resemblance to the Stars and Stripes was flown in 1775. It had the red cross of St. George of England and the white cross of St. Andrew of Scotland. It was also the standard of the British East India Company. Once the colonies split from Britain, white stars were substituted over the blue and the British Union was removed.

In 1777, the Second Continental Congress resolved there would be an American flag. The congress said it would have 13 white stars on a blue background and 13 stripes that alternate red and white, but the resolution never said anything about why those colors were picked.

“Later on, about seven years later, we established the Seal of the Presidency, and that’s where people started to find the colors,” said Zach Prax, a history teacher at Chanhassen High School.

He added: “White was for innocence and purity and a split from Britain, that red was for the blood that we lost and for bravery and that blue was for justice.”

Heather Brown