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The American Flag

From Memorial Day to Labor Day the American flag will line our streets, lead parades and proudly wave outside our homes on Independence Day.

And each year people across the United States celebrate Flag Day on June 14th.  Although it is not a legal holiday it is a day set aside to honor the flag and observe the anniversary of its adoption as our national flag.

We have all heard that Betsy Ross sewed the first American Flag from a sketch that George Washington gave her.  No one knows if this actually true but it makes a good story!

We do know that June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress officially set the design of the American flag. It was decided that it should have 13 alternating red and white stripes, with 13 white stars on a blue field as there were 13 original states in the newly formed United States. As new states joined the union, a white star was to be added to the American flag on July 4th of the year after they joined.

Today the flag has 50 stars representing the 50 states and there are 13 stripes representing the 13 original states.

Did You Know?

  • Over the past years the flag has changed 27 times. The last change was on July 4, 1960 to include the 50th state, Hawaii.
  • The Canton is the name for the dark blue rectangular area on the top left quarter of the American Flag
  • The world's largest the American Flag measures 505 feet x 225 feet and weighs in at a whopping 3,000 pounds and takes 500 people to unfurl it.
  • The American Flag has several nicknames including “Old Glory”, “Stars and Stripes”, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “The Red, White and Blue.”
  • Neil Armstrong left an American flag on the moon during the first moon landing in 1969. 

Check These Out!

Red, White, and Blue
Herman, John
Describes how the American flag came into being, how it has changed over the years, and its importance as the symbol of our country.
Flag Day
Ansary, Mir Tamim
Flag Day
Cooper, Jason
An introduction to the history, purpose, and observance of Flag Day, when we honor our country's flag.
From Cloth to American Flag
Mitchell, Melanie
Follows the making of an American flag from the weaving of thread into cloth to the completed banner flying in the wind.
Flag Day
Bennett, Kelly
Presents a simple introduction to the traditions and festivities on Flag Day including basic flag etiquette.
Flag Day
Nelson, Robin
A basic overview of Flag Day for emergent readers.

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