American Flag History

  1. Flying the Flag at Half-Mast

    When you see a flag flying at half-mast, it is natural to wonder, “Who passed away?” Typically, the American flag is flown at half-staff when someone has died, as a mark of respect, but it can also mean distress, to be in mourning, or, in some cases, a salute. This custom traces back to 1612 and an ill-fated mission.

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  2. A Brief History of the American Flag

    American Flag DividerMultiple American Flags From atop flagpoles in front of every school to the rear window of cousin Jimmy’s 1987 Chevy Silverado, the flag of the United States of America is perhaps the most recognizable part of the American experience. We grow up seeing the flag in every classroom, in front of every state building, on our t-shirts, hats, and other articles of clothing—not to mention the Fourth of July, the celebration of America’s birthday, which is steadily ranked in America’s top five favorite holidays. Many
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  3. In Appreciation of City Flags

    featim2 Throughout history, flags have served as an excellent display of cultural and geographic identity. A flag tends to be viewed as a physical representation of the intangible idea of the nation. Every weekday children across the United States of America say The Pledge of Allegiance to Old Glory, and they could easily explain to you that the thirteen red and white stripes are for the thirteen original colonies, and that the fifty stars stand for the fifty current states in the union.
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  4. The American Flag in Popular Culture

    image1 The American flag is a powerful symbol, frequently used to act as shorthand for American ideals and to reflect concepts associated with the country. It has appeared in countless movies and television shows to color one idea or another. Not all of its appearances are positive, of course; symbols work on many layers. A brief overview of some of its more significant appearances and the methodology of its manipulations would take some time, so let’s get started. Probably one of the easiest associations the American flag can be given is patriotism. Not jingoism – we’ll get to that – but the traditional feeling that your country is a good one, doing things as best it can. War movies are chockablock full of this sort of use.

    Patton, 1970

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  5. Nice Try, Early American Flag Designers

    You can’t say they didn’t make any effort. There are plenty of designs that didn’t make the official cut, although even the official flag has been modified twenty-six different times. Mostly, of course, to denote new states added to the canton as stars, which always necessitates a redesign of the pattern, some more successful than others.

    Rather than a step-by-step showcase of how the field has changed and how it’s likely to change again if new states are ratified, let’s take a look at some of the more exotic offerings our forefathers were planning on for the flag.

    We’ll start with a classic: the original “Grand Union” flag, called the “Continental Colors” as well. It has the basic elements: thirteen alternating red and white stripes, and a canton in the upper left hand corner at the hoist, but the star field is

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  6. Top 8 Moments in the History of the American Flag

    There have been many unforgettable moments in our nation’s history, but there are a handful of moments specifically related to the American flag that really stand out. Some of these moments are simply fascinating historical happenings, while others represent significant events that helped shape the United States of America as a nation.

    With that in mind, let’s discuss a healthy dose of each type of moment and explore a little bit more about one of our nation’s greatest symbols.

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    Moment #1: The First Flag Is Sewn

    If you hear the name Betsy Ross, you may not immediately remember that she was the woman who sewed the

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  7. The Thirteen Colonies and Their Flags

    It may come as a surprise to many that the colonies didn’t become states until four years or more after the war ended. While our Independence was declared on July 2nd and the Declaration of Independence was accepted on July 4th of 1776, the war raged on until 1783. The colonies overthrew the governors and British Lords who ruled them, in 1776, and began their own governments.

    Not an easy task to do while fighting for your sovereignty! Understandably, it took a few years to have state constitutions and formally accept the Constitution of the United States as their governing principles. Going hand in

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  8. A Rattlesnake on the American Flag Instead of an Eagle?

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    Was our country’s national symbol almost a poisonous reptile rather than the eagle we’ve all come to know and love? If Benjamin Franklin had his way, this may very well have been the case. In fact, Franklin didn’t even like the eagle, so much so that he believed the majestic bird of prey was “a bird of poor moral character.” The rattlesnake, on the other hand, was a fierce, but honorable creature, never attacking unless provoked and never surrendering unless a fight was over. 

    An Early Symbol

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  9. The Revolutionary War Depicted in Flags

    The birth of our nation occurred at a tumultuous time, amid battles, cannons, and a fight for freedom. Flags became a part of the scene to unite, inspire, and rally the colonists to win the war against the British so that all those living here in America could do so without tyranny or taxation without representation. To have a better understanding of the Revolutionary War, and the role flags played in the unification of our country, we will be taking a look at the flags that have enriched our history with their own unique stories.
    Cartoon turned flag, the Join or Die flag was a rallying standard
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  10. The History of the American Flag- For Kids

    The American flag is a symbol of the United States’ long history––and it might be much older than you thought! A flag is a very important part of a country’s identity. Some of them are hundreds of years old and are very important to the people who live in that country. Did you know that there are almost 200 independent countries in the world? That’s a lot of flags! Each one is made with its own specific colors and designs. How many flags can you describe?

    Are you curious about the history of the American flag and how it came to be? Read on to find out more about how old the flag is, how it has changed, and what it looks like today.

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