|Flags of Neighboring Countries|
Facts about American Flag
|Adopted||July 4, 1960|
|Colors||Red, White, Blue|
|Nickname||Star Spangled Banner, Old Glory, The Stars and Stripes|
The flag of the United States of America contains thirteen alternating horizontal stripes of equal width, of which seven are red in color and six are white. In the upper-left corner is a blue rectangle, on which are drawn fifty white five-pointed stars. Since 1777 when it was first adopted officially, the U.S. flag has undergone several revisions to reach its current design.
Meaning of Colors
Although the flag was adopted officially in 1777, at that time there was no meaning attached to the colors. However, the same colors were used in designing the Seal of the United States of America in 1782, having specific meaning. In the words of Charles Thompson, secretary to the Continental Congress: "The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice".
Dimensions of American Flag
Assuming that the width of the flag is 1.0 unit, the prescribed ratios for various parts of the flag are as follows:
- Length of the flag: 1.9 units
- Width of the canton (blue rectangle): 0.5385 units
- Length of the canton: 0.76 units
- Diameter of star: 0.0616 units
- Width of stripes: 0.0769 units
- Vertical distance between centers of stars: 0.0538 units
- Horizontal distance between centers of stars: 0.0633 units
History of American Flag
The first official design of the flag appeared in 1777, consisting of thirteen alternating stripes, with the blue rectangle featuring thirteen white stars representing the original thirteen colonies that had rebelled against the Kingdom of Great Britain. These colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. As more states merged into the federation known as the United States of America, additional stars were added to the blue canton. The last two states to join the USA were Alaska and Hawaii, and consequently the fifty-star design was adopted on 4th July 1960.
The American flag is a symbol of national unity and pride for the country. The fifty stars represent the fifty states comprising the present-day United States of America. For the symbolism of colors, see the corresponding section above.
The etiquette governing the use of the US flag are given in the Flag Code of the Federal law. Although the code is not binding on the common citizen, the following guidelines are prescribed:
- Unless the flag has been so designed, it should be flown only in good weather.
- The flag must be well lit at all times, either by sunlight or artificial light sources.
- When displayed in a group of flags, the American flag must be at the center and at the highest point.
- If the USA flag is being displayed with another flag, with the two flags having crossed staffs, the USA flag must be on the right and have its staff in the front.
- If the flag is to be suspended overhead, the canton must be to the top towards the left of the observer, with the folds falling freely.
- The flag should not be used as an item of decoration or in any form of fashion.
If the U.S. flag has become worn out, it should be mended properly. In case the state of the flag is beyond repair, it should be disposed in a respectful manner.
Last Updated on : November 08, 2013