With Hawaii being the last added state, the United States flag was created with 50 stars on July 4, 1960.
The United States flag has a rich history that not every American knows about.
Knowing its American flag history facts can give you a deeper connection with our country.
Keep reading to learn about nine fascinating American flag facts today!
- Colors of the Flag
One of the most fun facts about the American flag deals with its colors. It consists of red, white, and blue. Each of these colors represents something for our country.
Red represents valor, courage, and sacrifice. Many people also believe the red color represents all of the bloodshed by soldiers who have fought to protect our nation.
White represents innocence and purity. The purity comes from our independence from other countries. It also stands for the ideals that we hold true to America.
Blue signifies perseverance, justice for all, and the vigilance of our country. The color blue helps us remember to be strong and watchful.
The official flag color names include “Old Glory Red, White, and Old Glory Blue.”
- On the Moon
When America made its first trip to the moon in July of 1969, Neil Armstrong took it upon himself to ensure we were adequately represented. He placed a United States flag on the moon during the mission of Apollo 11. The photo of him putting the first flag on the moon is one of America’s most famous photos.
Each mission after that resulted in the addition of another flag. Apollo missions 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 added five more flags to the moon.
- Flag Day
Our flag is honored by having its very own day. We honor our flag to show respect, admiration, and love for our nation.
President Woodrow Wilson created Flag Day on May 30, 1916. His proclamation stated that Flag Day would be held as the Flag Resolution anniversary.
However, President Truman then decided that June 14, the first adoption date of the flag, would be National Flag Day. His Act of Congress ensured that the flag of the United States would be celebrated yearly.
Among the many American flag facts and history, maintaining your flag is essential to its honor. Often, American flag poles are left out in the weather with no protection. Due to the elements, your banner will become weathered and damaged.
Bring your flag in during high heat, storms, or wind to ensure your banner doesn’t sustain damage. This will ensure it stays intact with no severe harm. If it gets too dirty, you may wash or dry clean the flag to return it to a proper condition.
The first flag of the United States was created in 1777, representing the original 13 colonies. It had 13 stars and 13 stripes and is often referred to as the Betsy Ross version.
Since then, more states have been added over the years. Each additional state added another star. Due to additions, we have had 27 different versions of flags throughout our history.
Today’s flag has been the longest-running for over 60 years. No other states have joined our union since 1959.
- Overall Design
Our current flag’s design contains 50 stars and 13 stripes. As a surprise to many, our current flag was not designed professionally. Robert G. Heft from Lancaster, Ohio, was a 17-year-old high school student. He submitted his flag design in a contest in 1958 and won the competition.
President Dwight Eisenhower chose his design out of 1500 other entries, thus creating the flag we know and love today.
- 24 Hour Display
Displaying your flag is a responsibility you should take seriously. By law, flags can only be on display from sunrise to sunset, depending on the weather.
If you wish to display your flag 24 hours a day, you’ll need to install proper lighting so it can be visible when dark. Specialized places are also allowed to display the flag 24 hours a day, including:
- The White House
- Flag House Square
- Form McHenry
- The United States Marine Corps Memorial
- United States ports of entry
- Grounds of the National Memorial Arch
Each of these notable places proudly presents the flag of the United States properly.
- Destroyed in a Dignified Manner
Should your flag ever become unusable or unrepairable, you must destroy it. However, throwing it away or getting rid of it isn’t an option. You need to destroy it in a dignified manner.
A dignified manner preferably means to burn it. You can burn it on your own or wait for a specific time.
Often, many towns and cities will hold flag burnings for residents to take part in. These are usually held on Memorial Day or the Fourth of July for higher dignification.
- Touch the Ground
Many people believe the age-old myth that a flag must be destroyed if it ever touches the ground. They think that once it is soiled, it must be burned. However, that’s not exactly true.
You must always try your best to keep your flag from touching the ground. If it does touch the ground by some chance, you can still use it. You’ll need to wash or dry clean it before using it again.
The Best American Flag Facts
Hopefully, all of these American flag facts will give you a better understanding of the star-spangled banner.
Remember always to respect and honor our country’s flag.
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