Bicentennial of 21-Star U.S. Flag for Illinois this July 4, Butler Encourages Celebration

State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) is encouraging Illinois citizens to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 21st star being added to the United States flag on July 4 of this year. The 21st star was added to our nation’s flag on July 4, 1819, representing Illinois’ admission to the Union as the 21st state seven months earlier.

“This Independence Day offers Illinoisans an opportunity to celebrate our state’s rich heritage as the Bicentennial of the day which our star was added to the United States flag,” said Butler. “July 4 is always a day which we proudly celebrate the Red, White, and Blue, but this year it has special meaning to all of us from the Prairie State as we recognize the 200-plus year history of our state.” 

The star representing Illinois became the first star added to Old Glory following approval of the Flag Act in April of 1818, which defined the standard for our Nation’s flag. The Act calls for 13 alternating red and white stripes along with a field of blue containing white stars representing each state; the same standard in use today. The Flag Act of 1818 calls for a star to be added to the flag on the Independence Day following a state’s admission to the Union. The star representing Illinois became the first added to the flag under the act. The 21-star flag existed only until July of 1820, when the 23-star flag was unveiled representing the admission of Alabama and Maine to the Union.

On May 27, the Illinois House of Representatives passed Butler’s House Resolution 418, which recognizes the bicentennial anniversary of the 21-star flag and encourages Illinoisans to celebrate the occasion. 

Butler, whose family has lived in Illinois for over 200 years, served as co-chair of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which celebrated the state’s 200th birthday in 2018.

For full text of HR 418, Click Here.