Flag of the United States of America
Flag of the United States
Names The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, The Starry Banner
Use National flag and ensign Template:FIAV
Proportion 10:19
Adopted June 14, 1777 (original 13-star version)
July 4, 1960 (current 50-star version)
Design Thirteen horizontal stripes alternating red and white; in the canton, 50 white stars on a blue field
23x15px Union Jack. Currently used as state jack; used as state and naval jack, 1960–2002.
23x15px Current naval jack, known as the First Navy Jack.

The flag of the United States consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of Red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton 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 fifty stars on the flag represent the fifty U.S. states and the thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that rebelled against the British Crown and became the first states in the Union.[1] Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory,[2] and The Star-Spangled Banner (also the name of the national anthem).

Symbolism Edit

The flag of the United States is one of the nation's most widely recognized symbols. Within the U.S. it is frequently displayed, not only on public buildings, but on private residences. It is also used as a motif on decals for car windows, and clothing ornaments such as badges and lapel pins. Throughout the world it is used in public discourse to refer to the U.S., both as a nation state, government, and set of policies, but also as an ideology and set of ideas.

Many understand the flag to represent the national government established in the U.S. Constitution the rights of the citizens promised in the Bill of Rights, and perhaps most of all to be a symbol of individual and personal liberty as set forth in the Declaration of Independence. The flag is a complex and contentious symbol, around which emotions run high.

Apart from the numbers of stars and stripes representing the number of current and original states, respectively, and the union with its stars representing a constellation, there is no legally defined symbolism to the colors and shapes on the flag. However, folk theories and traditions abound; for example, that the stripes refer to rays of sunlight and that the stars refer to the heavens, the highest place that a person could aim to reach.[3]

Design Edit


The basic design of the current flag is specified by Template:Usc; Template:Usc outlines the addition of new stars to represent new states. The specification gives the following values:

  • Hoist (width) of the flag: A = 1.0
  • Fly (length) of the flag: B = 1.9[4]
  • Hoist (width) of the Union: C = 0.5385 (A x 7/13, spanning seven stripes)
  • Fly (length) of the Union: D = 0.76 (B × 2/5, two fifths of the flag length)
  • E = F = 0.0538 (C/10, One tenth the height of the field of Stars)
  • G = H = 0.0633 (D/12, One twelfth the width of the field of Stars)
  • Diameter of star: K = 0.0616
  • Width of stripe: L = 0.0769 (A/13, One thirteenth of the flag width)

These specifications are contained in an executive order which, strictly speaking, governs only flags made for or by the U.S. federal government.[5] In practice, however, virtually all U.S. national flags adhere to these specifications, or close to them.



The exact shades of red, white, and blue to be used in the flag are specified as follows:[6]

Color Cable color Pantone[7] Web Color[8] RGB Values
     Dark Red 70180 193 C #BF0A30 (191,10,48)
     White 70001 Safe #FFFFFF (255,255,255)
     Navy Blue 70075 281 C #002868 (0,40,104)

The 49- and 50-star unionsEdit

When Alaska and Hawaii were being considered for statehood in the 1950s, more than 1,500 designs were spontaneously submitted to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Although some of them were 49-star versions, the vast majority were 50-star proposals. At least three, and probably more, of these designs were identical to the present design of the 50-star flag.[9] At the time, credit was given by the executive department to the United States Army Institute of Heraldry for the design.

Of these proposals, one created by 18-year old Robert G. Heft in 1958 as a school project has received the most publicity. His mother was a seamstress, but refused to do any of the work for him. He originally received a B- for the project. After discussing the grade with his teacher, it was agreed (somewhat jokingly) that if the flag was accepted by Congress, the grade would be reconsidered. Heft's flag design was chosen and adopted by presidential proclamation after Alaska and before Hawaii was admitted into the union in 1959. He got an A.[10]


Traditionally, the flag may be decorated with golden fringe surrounding the perimeter of the flag as long as it does not deface the flag proper. Ceremonial displays of the flag, such as those in parades or on indoor posts, often use fringe to enhance the beauty of the flag. The first recorded use of fringe on a flag dates from 1835, and the Army used it officially in 1895. No specific law governs the legality of fringe, but a 1925 opinion of the attorney general addresses the use of fringe (and the number of stars) " at the discretion of the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy..." as quoted from footnote in previous volumes of Title 4 of the United States Code law books and is a source for claims that such a flag is a military ensign not civilian. However, according to the Army Institute of Heraldry, which has official custody of the flag designs and makes any change ordered, there are no implications of symbolism in the use of fringe.[11] Several federal courts have upheld this conclusion.[12][13]

Display and useEdit


The flag is customarily flown year-round at most public buildings, and it is not unusual to find private houses flying full-size flags. Some private use is year-round, but becomes widespread on civic holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Presidents' Day, Flag Day, and on Independence Day. On Memorial Day it is common to place small flags by war memorials and next to the graves of U.S. war veterans. Also on Memorial Day it is common to fly the flag at half staff in remembrance of those who lost their lives in war while fighting for the U.S.

Flag etiquetteEdit

Main article: United States Flag Code
The United States Flag Code outlines certain guidelines for the use, display, and disposal of the flag. For example, the flag should never be dipped to any person or thing, unless it is the ensign responding to a salute from a ship of a foreign nation. (This tradition may come from the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, where countries were asked to dip their flag to King Edward VII: the American flag bearer did not. Team captain Martin Sheridan is famously quoted as saying "this flag dips to no earthly king", though the true provenance of this quotation is unclear[14][15].)

The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground and, if flown at night, must be illuminated. If the edges become tattered through wear, the flag should be repaired or replaced. When a flag is so tattered that can no longer serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The American Legion and other organizations regularly conduct dignified flag-burning ceremonies, often on Flag Day, June 14. It is a common myth that if a flag touches the ground or becomes soiled, it must be burned as well. While a flag that is currently touching the ground and a soiled flag are unfit for display, neither situation is permanent and thus the flag does not need to be burned if the unfit situation is remedied.[16]

Significantly, the Flag Code proscribes using the flag "for any advertising purpose" and also states that the flag "should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use".[17] Both of these prohibitions are widely flouted, almost always without comment.

File:Vertical United States Flag.svg

Although the Flag Code is U.S. Federal law, there is no penalty for failure to comply with the Flag Code and it is not widely enforced—indeed, punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.[18] Passage of the proposed Flag Desecration Amendment would overrule legal precedent that has been established.

Display on vehicles and uniformsEdit

When the flag is affixed to the side of a vehicle or uniform, it should be oriented so that the union is towards the front. This is done to give the impression that the flag is blowing backwards from its hoist as the vehicle or wearer moves forward.[19] Therefore, U.S. flag decals (or patches) on the right sides of vehicles (or uniforms) may appear to be "reversed", with the union to the observer's right instead of left as more commonly seen.

Places of continuous displayEdit

By presidential proclamation, acts of Congress, and custom, American flags are displayed continuously at certain locations.

Particular days for displayEdit

The flag should especially be displayed at full staff on the following days:

File:Apollo 14 Shepard.jpg

Display at half-staffEdit

The flag is displayed at half-staff as a sign of respect or mourning. Nationwide, this action is proclaimed by the president; state-wide or territory-wide, the proclamation is made by the governor. In addition, there is no prohibition against municipal governments, private businesses or citizens flying the flag at half-staff as a local sign of respect and mourning. However, many flag enthusiasts feel this type of practice has somewhat diminished the meaning of the original intent of lowering the flag to honor those who held high positions in federal or state offices. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first proclamation on March 1, 1954, standardizing the dates and time periods for flying the flag at half-staff from all federal buildings, grounds, and naval vessels; other congressional resolutions and presidential proclamations ensued. However, they are only guidelines to all other entities: typically followed at state and local government facilities, and encouraged of private businesses and citizens.

To properly fly the flag at half-staff, you must first hoist it briskly to the top of the pole, then slowly lower it to three-quarters of the height of the pole. Similarly, when the flag is to be lowered from half-staff, it should be first hoisted briskly to the top of the pole, then lowered slowly to the base of the flagpole.

Federal guidelines state the flag should be flown at half-staff at the following dates/times:

  • May 15 - Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless it is the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day, full-staff all day
  • The week in which May 15 occurs - Police Week[30]
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day (until noon)
  • July 27 - Korean War Veterans Day (expired 2003)[31]
  • September 11 - Patriot Day[32]
  • First Sunday in October - Start of Fire Prevention Week [33]
  • December 7 - Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • For 30 days - Death of a president or former president
  • For 10 days - Death of a vice president, Supreme Court chief justice/retired chief justice, or speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • From death until the day of interment - Supreme Court associate justice, member of the Cabinet, former vice president, president pro-tempore of the Senate, or the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives. Also for federal facilities within a state or territory, for the governor.
  • On the day after the death - Senators, members of Congress, territorial delegates or the resident commissioner of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Folding for storageEdit


Though not part of the official Flag Code, according to military custom flags should be folded into a triangular shape when not in use. To properly fold the flag:

  1. Begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.
  2. Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.
  3. Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.
  4. Make a rectangular fold then a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open top edge of the flag. Starting the fold from the left side over to the right
  5. Turn the outer end point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.
  6. The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner (usually thirteen triangular folds, as shown at right). On the final fold, any remnant that does not neatly fold into a triangle (or in the case of exactly even folds, the last triangle) is tucked into the previous fold.
  7. When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.

Use in funeralsEdit

File:Flag funeral.jpg

Traditionally, the flag of the United States plays a role in military funerals,[34] and occasionally in those over other civil servants (such as the President). A burial flag is draped over the deceased's casket as a pall during services. Just prior to the casket being lowered into the ground, the flag is ceremonially folded and presented to the deceased's next of kin as a token of respect.[35]

History Edit


File:1885 History of US flags med.jpg

The flag has been changed 26 times since the new, 13-state union adopted it. The 48-star version went unchanged for 47 years, until the 50-star version became official on July 4, 1959 (the first July 4 following Alaska's admission to the union on January 3, 1959); the 47-year-record of the 48-star version was the longest time the flag went unmodified until July 4, 2007, when the current 50-star version of the Flag of the United States broke the record.

First flag Edit

Grand Union Flag
23x15px Grand Union Flag (Continental Colors)
23x15px Flag of the British East India Company, 1707–1801

At the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, the United States had no official national flag. The Grand Union Flag has historically been referred to as the "First National Flag"; although it has never had any official status, it was used early in the American Revolutionary War[36] by George Washington and formed the basis for the design of the first official U.S. flag. The origins of the design are unclear. It closely resembles the British East India Company (BEIC) flag of the same era, and an argument dating to Sir Charles Fawcett in 1937 holds that the BEIC flag indeed inspired the design.[37] However, the BEIC flag could have from 9 to 13 stripes, and was not allowed to be flown outside the Indian Ocean.[38] Both flags could have been easily constructed by adding white stripes to a British Red Ensign, a common flag throughout Britain and its colonies.

File:COA George Washington.svg

Another theory holds that the red-and-white stripe—and later, stars-and-stripes—motif of the flag may have been based on the Washington family coat-of-arms, which consisted of a shield "argent, two bars gules, above, three mullets gules" (a white shield with two red bars below three red stars).[39] However, there is no proof that this is true and the theory is widely discredited. Washington was not involved with the committee that designed the flag in 1777, and in heraldic terms there is very little connection between the two designs. Moreover, the sequence by which the flag evolved belies any influence of the Washington arms. More likely it was based on a flag of the Sons of Liberty, one of which consisted of 13 red and white alternating horizontal stripes.

The Flag Resolution of 1777 Edit

US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross
23x15px 13-star "Betsy Ross" flag

On June 14, 1777, the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."[40] Flag Day is now observed on June 14 of each year. A false tradition holds that the new flag was first hoisted in June 1777 by the Continental Army at the Middlebrook encampment.[41]

The 1777 resolution was probably meant to define a naval ensign, rather than a national flag. It appears between other resolutions from the Marine Committee. On May 10, 1779, Secretary of the Board of War Richard Peters, Jr. expressed concern "it is not yet settled what is the Standard of the United States."[42]

The Flag Resolution did not specify any particular arrangement, number of points, nor orientation for the stars. The pictured flag shows 13 outwardly-oriented five-pointed stars arranged in a circle, the so-called Betsy Ross flag. Although the Betsy Ross legend is not taken seriously by many historians[citation needed], the design itself is the oldest version of any U.S. flag known to exist[citation needed]; it is not the oldest surviving flag artifact in cloth form, but its likeness appears on older physical relics, namely, the contemporary battlefield paintings by John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale.[citation needed]Template:Or They depict the circular star arrangement, and thus provide the first known historical documentation on the flag's appearance. Popular designs at the time were varied and most were individually crafted rather than mass-produced. Other examples of 13-star arrangements can be found on the Francis Hopkinson flag, the Cowpens flag, and the Brandywine flag. Given the scant archaeological and written evidence, it is unknown which design was the most popular at that time.[citation needed]

File:Bennington Flag.svg

Despite the 1777 resolution, a number of flags only loosely based on the prescribed design were used in the early years of American independence. One example may have been the Guilford Court House Flag, traditionally believed to have been carried by the American troops at the Battle of Guilford Court House in 1781.[43]

The origin of the stars and stripes design cannot be fully documented. A popular story credits Betsy Ross for sewing the first flag from a pencil sketch by George Washington who personally commissioned her for the job. However, no evidence for this theory exists beyond Ross' descendants' much later recollections of what she told her family. Another woman, Rebecca Young, has also been credited as having made the first flag by later generations of her family. Rebecca Young's daughter was Mary Pickersgill, who made the Star Spangled Banner Flag.[citation needed]

It is likely that Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, designed the 1777 flag while he was the Chairman of the Continental Navy Board's Middle Department, sometime between his appointment to that position in November 1776 and the time that the flag resolution was adopted in June 1777. This contradicts the Betsy Ross legend, which suggests that she sewed the first Stars and Stripes flag by request of the government in the Spring of 1776.[40][44] Hopkinson was the only person to have made such a claim during his own lifetime, when he sent a bill to Congress for his work. He asked for a "Quarter Cask of the Public Wine" as payment initially. The payment was not made, however, because it was determined he had already received a salary as a member of Congress, and he was not the only person to have contributed to the design.[citation needed] It should be noted that no one else contested his claim at the time.Template:Or

Later flag acts Edit

US flag 15 stars
23x15px 15-star, 15-stripe "Star-Spangled Banner" flag
US flag 48 stars
23x15px 48-star flag, is the second longest in use (1912–1959).

In 1795, the number of stars and stripes was increased from 13 to 15 (to reflect the entry of Vermont and Kentucky as states of the union). For a time the flag was not changed when subsequent states were admitted, probably because it was thought that this would cause too much clutter. It was the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," now the national anthem.

On April 4, 1818, a plan was passed by Congress at the suggestion of U.S. Naval Captain Samuel C. Reid[45] in which the flag was changed to have 20 stars, with a new star to be added when each new state was admitted, but the number of stripes would be reduced to 13 so as to honor the original colonies. The act specified that new flag designs should become official on the first July 4 (Independence Day) following admission of one or more new states. The most recent change, from 49 stars to 50, occurred in 1960 when the present design was chosen, after Hawaii gained statehood in August 1959. Before that, the admission of Alaska in January 1959 prompted the debut of a short-lived 49-star flag.[46]

As of July 4, 2007, the 50-star flag has become the longest rendition in use.

The "Flower Flag" arrives in AsiaEdit

The U.S. flag was brought to the city of Canton (Guǎngzhōu) in China in 1785 by the merchant ship Empress of China, which carried a cargo of ginseng.[47] There it gained the designation "Flower Flag [花旗]."[48] According to author and U.S. Naval officer George H. Preble:

When the thirteen stripes and stars first appeared at Canton much curiosity was excited among the people. News was circulated that a strange ship had arrived from the farther end of the world, bearing a flag as beautiful as a flower. Everybody went to see the Fah-kay-cheun [花旗船], or flower-flag ship. This name at once established itself in the language, and America is now called Fah-kay-kwock [花旗國], the flower-flag country, and an American, Fah-kay-kwock-yin [花旗國人], flower-flag country man, — a more complimentary designation than that of red-headed barbarian, the name first bestowed on the Dutch.[47]

The above quote romanizes the Chinese words from spoken Cantonese. In Mandarin, the official Chinese language, "Flower Flag Nation" is rendered as Huāqíguó ().[49] These names were common usage in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Other Asian nations have equivalent terms for America, for example Hoa Kỳ ("Flower Flag") in Vietnam. In modern times, Chinese refer to America as Měiguó () ("beautiful country"). Měi represents the sound of the second syllable of "America" and is thus unrelated to the flag.

The U.S. flag took its first trip around the world in 1787-90 on board the Columbia.[48] William Driver, who coined phrase Old Glory, took the U.S. flag around the world in 1831-32.[48] The flag attracted the notice of Japanese when an oversized version was carried to Yokohama by the steamer Great Republic as part of a round-the-world journey in 1871.[50]

Historical progression of designs Edit

Template:Seealso In the following table depicting the 28 various designs of the United States flag, the star patterns for the flags are merely the usual patterns, often associated with the United States Navy. Canton designs, prior to the proclamation of the 48-star flag, had no official arrangement of the stars. Furthermore, the exact colors of the flag were not standardized until 1934.[51]

No. of
No. of
Design States Represented
by New Stars
Dates in Use Duration
0 13 Grand Union Flag N/A Template:Dts[52]–June 14, 1777 Template:Sort
(18 months)
13 13 126x66px Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire,
Virginia, New York, North Carolina,
Rhode Island
Template:Dts–May 1, 1795 Template:Sort
(215 months)
15 15 US flag 15 stars Kentucky, Vermont Template:Dts–July 3, 1818 Template:Sort
(278 months)
20 13 126x66px Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Ohio, Tennessee
Template:Dts–July 3, 1819 Template:Sort
(12 months)
21 13 126x66px Illinois Template:Dts–July 3, 1820 Template:Sort
(12 months)
23 13 126x66px Alabama, Maine Template:Dts–July 3, 1822 Template:Sort
(24 months)
24 13 126x66px Missouri Template:Dts–July 3, 1836 (1831 term "Old Glory" coined) Template:Sort
(168 months)
25 13 126x66px Arkansas Template:Dts–July 3, 1837 Template:Sort
(12 months)
26 13 126x66px Michigan Template:Dts–July 3, 1845 Template:Sort
(96 months)
27 13 126x66px Florida Template:Dts–July 3, 1846 Template:Sort
(12 months)
28 13 126x66px Texas Template:Dts–July 3, 1847 Template:Sort
(12 months)
29 13 126x66px Iowa Template:Dts–July 3, 1848 Template:Sort
(12 months)
30 13 126x66px Wisconsin Template:Dts–July 3, 1851 Template:Sort
(36 months)
31 13 126x66px California Template:Dts–July 3, 1858 Template:Sort
(84 months)
32 13 126x66px Minnesota Template:Dts–July 3, 1859 Template:Sort
(12 months)
33 13 US flag 33 stars Oregon Template:Dts–July 3, 1861 Template:Sort
(24 months)
34 13 US flag 34 stars Kansas Template:Dts–July 3, 1863 Template:Sort
(24 months)
35 13 US flag 35 stars West Virginia Template:Dts–July 3, 1865 Template:Sort
(24 months)
36 13 US flag 36 stars Nevada Template:Dts–July 3, 1867 Template:Sort
(24 months)
37 13 US flag 37 stars Nebraska Template:Dts–July 3, 1877 Template:Sort
(120 months)
38 13 126x66px Colorado Template:Dts–July 3, 1890 Template:Sort
(156 months)
43 13 126x66px Idaho, Montana, North Dakota,
South Dakota, Washington
Template:Dts–July 3, 1891 Template:Sort
(12 months)
44 13 126x66px Wyoming Template:Dts–July 3, 1896 Template:Sort
(60 months)
45 13 126x66px Utah Template:Dts–July 3, 1908 Template:Sort
(144 months)
46 13 126x66px Oklahoma Template:Dts–July 3, 1912 Template:Sort
(48 months)
48 13 US flag 48 stars Arizona, New Mexico Template:Dts–July 3, 1959 Template:Sort
(564 months)
49 13 US flag 49 stars Alaska Template:Dts–July 3, 1960 Template:Sort
(12 months)
50 13 Flag of the United States Hawaii Template:Dts–present Template:Sort years
(Template:Age in months months)

Future of the flag Edit


The United States Army Institute of Heraldry has plans for flags with up to 56 stars, using a similar staggered star arrangement should additional states accede. There are political movements supporting statehood in Puerto Rico (by the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico) and the District of Columbia, among other areas.

Template:Begin flag gallery Template:Flag entry Template:Flag entry Template:End flag gallery

Similar national flags Edit

Template:Begin flag gallery Template:Flag entry Template:Flag entry Template:Flag entry Template:End flag gallery

The flag of Liberia bears a close resemblance, showing the ex-American-slave origin of the country. The Liberian flag has similar red and white stripes, though only 11 of them, as well as a blue square for the union, but with only a single large white star.

The flag of Malaysia also has a striking resemblance, with red and white stripes (14 total), and a blue canton, but displaying instead of stars a star and crescent emblem. This might be due, however, to the great influence of the British East India Company, rather than the later United States flag.

The flag of Hawaii, in use since it was a kingdom in the 19th century, with eight stripes in red, white, and blue, and the British Union Flag in the canton, has some resemblance to the U.S. Grand Union Flag of the 18th century.

See also Edit

Article sections Edit

Associated persons Edit

References Edit

  • Allentown Art Museum. The American Flag in the Art of Our Country. Allentown Art Museum, 1976.
  • Herbert Ridgeway Collins. Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth 1775 to the Present. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979.
  • Grace Rogers Cooper. Thirteen-star Flags: Keys to Identification. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1973.
  • David D. Crouthers. Flags of American History. Hammond, 1978.
  • Louise Lawrence Devine. The Story of Our Flag. Rand McNally, 1960.
  • William Rea Furlong, Byron McCandless, and Harold D. Langley. So Proudly We Hail: The History of the United States Flag. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981.
  • Scot M. Guenter, The American Flag, 1777-1924: Cultural Shifts from Creation to Codification. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. 1990. online
  • Marc Leepson, Flag: An American Biography. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2005.
  • David Roger Manwaring. Render Unto Caesar: The Flag-Salute Controversy. University of Chicago Press, 1962.
  • Boleslaw Mastai and Marie-Louise D'Otrange Mastai. The Stars and the Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History from the Birth of the Republic to the Present. Knopf, 1973.
  • Milo Milton Quaife. The Flag of the United States. 1942.
  • Milo Milton Quaife, Melvin J. Weig, and Roy Applebaum. The History of the United States Flag, from the Revolution to the Present, Including a Guide to Its Use and Display. Harper, 1961.
  • Albert M. Rosenblatt. "Flag Desecration Statutes: History and Analysis," Washington University Law Quarterly 1972: 193-237.
  • Leonard A. Stevens. Salute! The Case of The Bible vs. The Flag. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1973.

Notes Edit

  1. States are represented collectively; there is no meaning to particular stars nor stripes.
  2. Coined by Captain William Driver, a nineteenth century shipmaster.
  3. "What do the colors of the Flag mean?". A website dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America. Retrieved on 2005-06-14. 
  4. Note that the flag ratio (B/A in the diagram) is not absolutely fixed. Although the diagram in Executive Order 10834 gives a ratio of 1.9, earlier in the order is a list of flag sizes authorized for executive agencies. This list permits eleven specific flag sizes (specified by height and width) for such agencies: 20.00 × 38.00; 10.00 × 19.00; 8.95 × 17.00; 7.00 × 11.00; 5.00 × 9.50; 4.33 × 5.50; 3.50 × 6.65; 3.00 × 4.00; 3.00 × 5.70; 2.37 × 4.50; and 1.32 × 2.50. Eight of these sizes conform to the 1.9 ratio, within a small rounding error (less than 0.01). However, three of the authorized sizes vary significantly: 1.57 (for 7.00 × 11.00), 1.27 (for 4.33 × 5.50) and 1.33 (for 3.00 × 4.00).
  5. Ex. Ord. No. 10834, August 21, 1959, 24 F.R. 6865 (governing flags "manufactured or purchased for the use of executive agencies", Section 22).
  6. According to Flags of the World, the colors are specified by the General Services Administration "Federal Specification, Flag, National, United States of America and Flag, Union Jack," DDD-F-416E, dated November 27, 1981. It gives the colors by reference to "Standard Color Cards of America" maintained by The Color Association of the United States, Inc.
  7. The Pantone color equivalents for Old Glory Blue and Red are listed on U.S. Flag Facts at the U.S. Embassy's London site.
  8. The RGB color values are taken from the Pantone Color Finder at
  9. These designs are in the Eisenhower Presidential Archives in Abilene, Kansas. Only a small fraction of them have ever been published.
  10. "Robert G. Heft: Designer of America's Current National Flag". A website dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America. Retrieved on 2006-12-07. 
  11. "Fringe on the American Flag". Retrieved on 2006-06-27. 
  12. See McCann v. Greenway, 542 F. Supp. 647 (W.D. Mo. 1997), which discusses various court opinions denying any significance related to trim used on a flag.
  13. Rebuttal of "martial law flag" claims by tax protestors
  15. London Olympics 1908 & 1948
  16. Flag Disposal retrieved June 14, 2008
  17. 4 U.S.Code Sec. 8(i).
  18. Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).
  20. Presidential Proclamation No. 2795, July 2, 1948
  21. Public Law 83-319, approved March 26, 1954
  22. Presidential Proclamation No. 3418, June 12, 1961
  23. Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, 1965
  24. Presidential Proclamation No. 4000, September 4, 1970
  25. Presidential Proclamation No. 4064, July 6, 1971, effective July 4, 1971
  26. Presidential Proclamation No. 4131, May 5, 1972
  27. Public Law 94-53, approved July 4, 1975
  28. By Act of Congress. [1]Template:Dead link
  29. It is possible that Apollo 11's flag was knocked down by the exhaust force of liftoff for return to lunar orbit.[citation needed]
  30. 36 U.S.C. Sec. 137
  31. 36 U.S.C. Sec. 127
  32. Patriot Day, 2005
  33. [2]
  34. "Sequence of Events for an Army Honors Funeral At Arlington National Cemetery" (in English). Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved on 2009-02-06. 
  35. "Flag Presentation Protocol" (in English). Virginia Army National Guard. Retrieved on 2009-02-06. 
  37. Template:FOTW
  38. Template:FOTW
  39. A 2002 BBC documentary featuring the town of Selby and Selby Abbey showed the coat of arms with the commentator referring to it as the inspiration for the U.S. Flag, a commonly held belief in Britain.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Federal Citizen Information Center: The History of the Stars and Stripes. Accessed June 7, 2008.
  41. Guenter (1990)
  42. Mastai, 60
  43. Other evidence suggests it dates only to the nineteenth century. The original flag is at the North Carolina Historical Museum.
  44. Embassy of the United States of America [3] Accessed April 11, 2008.
  45. United States Government (1861) (PDF). Our Flag. Washington DC: United States Government Printing Office. S. Doc 105-013. 
  46. "United States Flag History". United States Embassy. Retrieved on 2009-02-03. 
  47. 47.0 47.1 Preble, George Henry, History of the flag of the United States of America, (1880).
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Tappan, Eva March, The Little Book of the Flag (1917), pp. 91-92.)
  49. Chinese: . See Chinese English Dictionary
    Citibank, which founded a branch in China in 1902, is known as "Flower Flag Bank" (花旗銀行).
    Olsen, Kay Melchisedech, Chinese Immigrants: 1850-1900 (2001), p. 7.
    "Philadelphia's Chinatown: An Overview", The Historical Society of Pennsylvannia.
    Leonard, Dr. George, "The Beginnings of Chinese Literature in America: the Angel Island Poems".
  50. "American Flag Raised Over Buddhist Temple in Japan on July 4, 1872"
  51. (For alternate versions of the flag of the United States, see the Stars of the U.S. Flag page at the Flags of the World website.)
  52. Leepson, Marc. (2005). Flag: An American Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press.

External links Edit


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