5 Fantastic Facts About the American Flag

Old Glory. The Red, White, and Blue. The Stars and Stripes. No matter what you call it, it all means the same. The American Flag.

The official symbol of the United States of America is iconic with patriotism, showing up at sporting events, momentous occasions, and commercials dead-set on representing Americana. It’s flown on federal buildings, homes, and even the Moon.Despite the enormous pride given to a simple image, there are still many facts the average American doesn’t know about the flag, including these 5 important facts about American flag.

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What It’s Made Of

Believe it or not, the American Flag has never been made with one consistent material. Originally made out of wool, cotton, linen, or silk, the material has changed depending on the manufacturer and its usage. Indoor flags tend to be made out of cotton, while flags used outside rely on polyester or nylon for textile strength.

The Flag is a Flag, Not an Accessory

This has been a point of debate among historians in recent years. Most people have attributed the original thirteen-star design to Betsy Ross, a seamstress with ties to George Washington during the American Revolution. However there has been some speculation that Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, may have had a larger part in its conception, though such claims have never been verified.

American flag variations

As the U.S. expanded and gained more territory, the flag faced several new designs since its iconic 1777 imagery. As of this writing, there have been twenty-eight variations of the flag leading up to the current incarnation with fifty stars, though this could always change if more states are adopted.

What The Colors Mean

We call it “the Red, White, and Blue,” but why does the flag have these colors? The thirteen alternating stripes represent the thirteen original colonies established before the American Revolution. While the colors did not originally carry any significance (they were most likely carryovers from the same color scheme Great Britain used), Charles Thomson added his take which has now been considered canon. As Secretary of the Continental Congress, Thomson stated that red represents hardiness and valor, white represents purity, and blue signifies “vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”

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Rules About Flying the Flag

There are in fact guidelines about flying the American Flag. The Flag Code, adopted in 1942, explains the proper way to store, raise, and treat the flag. This can include when to fly it (during daylight hours unless it has proper lighting), position (never carried flat or horizontally), and respect (the flag much never touch the ground). These rules are not carried out with penalties at the federal level, but they can be imposed by the states or the District of Columbia.

The American Flag is synonymous with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When you celebrate the 4th of July or any occasion where the flag flies free, impress your friends and family with your newfound knowledge of Old Glory.

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