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A third red was suggested by a California Military Department document in When Alaska and Hawaii were being considered for statehood in the s, more than 1, designs were submitted to President Dwight D. Although some of them were star versions, the vast majority were star proposals.

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At least three of these designs were identical to the present design of the star flag. Of these proposals, one created by year-old Robert G. Heft in as a school project received the most publicity. His mother was a seamstress, but refused to do any of the work for him. He originally received a B— for the project.

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After discussing the grade with his teacher, it was agreed somewhat jokingly that if the flag was accepted by Congress, the grade would be reconsidered. Heft's flag design was chosen and adopted by presidential proclamation after Alaska and before Hawaii was admitted into the Union in Traditionally, the flag may be decorated with golden fringe surrounding the perimeter of the flag as long as it does not deface the flag proper. Ceremonial displays of the flag, such as those in parades or on indoor posts, often use fringe to enhance the appearance of the flag.


Traditionally, the Army and Air Force use a fringed flag for parade, color guard and indoor display, while the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard use a fringeless flag for all occasions. The first recorded use of fringe on a flag dates from , and the Army used it officially in No specific law governs the legality of fringe, but a opinion of the attorney general addresses the use of fringe and the number of stars " This opinion is a source for claims that a flag with fringe is a military ensign rather than civilian.

However, according to the Army Institute of Heraldry, which has official custody of the flag designs and makes any change ordered, there are no implications of symbolism in the use of fringe. Individuals associated with the sovereign citizen movement and tax protester conspiracy arguments have claimed, based on the military usage, that the presence of a fringed flag in a civilian courtroom changes the nature or jurisdiction of the court.

The flag is customarily flown year-round at most public buildings, and it is not unusual to find private houses flying full-size 3 by 5 feet 0. On Memorial Day it is common to place small flags by war memorials and next to the graves of U.

The Flag of The United States of America

Also on Memorial Day it is common to fly the flag at half staff, until noon, in remembrance of those who lost their lives fighting in U. The United States Flag Code outlines certain guidelines for the use, display, and disposal of the flag. For example, the flag should never be dipped to any person or thing, unless it is the ensign responding to a salute from a ship of a foreign nation.

Team captain Martin Sheridan is famously quoted as saying "this flag dips to no earthly king", though the true provenance of this quotation is unclear. The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground and, if flown at night, must be illuminated. If the edges become tattered through wear, the flag should be repaired or replaced. When a flag is so tattered that it can no longer serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.

The American Legion and other organizations regularly conduct flag retirement ceremonies, often on Flag Day, June The Boy Scouts of America recommends that modern nylon or polyester flags be recycled instead of burned, due to hazardous gases being produced when such materials are burned. The Flag Code prohibits using the flag "for any advertising purpose" and also states that the flag "should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use".

More stars than stripes

Section 8, entitled "Respect For Flag" states in part: "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery", and "No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform". Section 3 of the Flag Code [94] defines "the flag" as anything "by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag of the United States of America". An additional part of Section 8 "Respect For Flag" that is frequently violated at sporting events is part c "The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

Although the Flag Code is U. When the flag is affixed to the right side of a vehicle of any kind e. Therefore, U. The flag has been displayed on every U. But since Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo were launched and landed vertically and were not capable of horizontal atmospheric flight as the Space Shuttle did on its landing approach, the "streaming" convention was not followed and these flags were oriented with the stripes running horizontally, perpendicular to the direction of flight.

On some U.

This rule dates back to the Army's early history, when both mounted cavalry and infantry units would designate a standard bearer, who carried the Colors into battle. As he charged, his forward motion caused the flag to stream back. Since the Stars and Stripes are mounted with the canton closest to the pole, that section stayed to the right, while the stripes flew to the left. Other organizations that wear flag patches on their uniforms can have the flag facing in either direction.

Every U. In this case, the canton was on the left. The flag did not appear on U. The star flag first appeared on the General Casimir Pulaski issue of , though in a small monochrome depiction. The first U. Appleton donated the flag with the wish that it would always be on view to the public.

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In , the National Museum of American History determined that the Star Spangled Banner Flag required further conservation treatment to remain on public display. In teams of museum conservators, curators, and other specialists helped move the flag from its home in the Museum's Flag Hall into a new conservation laboratory.

Following the reopening of the National Museum of American History on November 21, , the flag is now on display in a special exhibition, "The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag That Inspired the National Anthem," where it rests at a 10 degree angle in dim light for conservation purposes. By presidential proclamation, acts of Congress, and custom, U. The flag should especially be displayed at full staff on the following days: [].

The flag is displayed at half-staff half-mast in naval usage as a sign of respect or mourning. Nationwide, this action is proclaimed by the president; statewide or territory-wide, the proclamation is made by the governor. In addition, there is no prohibition against municipal governments, private businesses or citizens flying the flag at half-staff as a local sign of respect and mourning. However, many flag enthusiasts feel this type of practice has somewhat diminished the meaning of the original intent of lowering the flag to honor those who held high positions in federal or state offices.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first proclamation on March 1, , standardizing the dates and time periods for flying the flag at half-staff from all federal buildings, grounds, and naval vessels; other congressional resolutions and presidential proclamations ensued. However, they are only guidelines to all other entities: typically followed at state and local government facilities, and encouraged of private businesses and citizens.

To properly fly the flag at half-staff, one should first briefly hoist it top of the staff, then lower it to the half-staff position, halfway between the top and bottom of the staff. Similarly, when the flag is to be lowered from half-staff, it should be first briefly hoisted to the top of the staff. National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, on July 27, was formerly a day of half-staff observance until the law expired in In , it became a day of full-staff observance.

Though not part of the official Flag Code, according to military custom, flags should be folded into a triangular shape when not in use. To properly fold the flag:. There is also no specific meaning for each fold of the flag. However, there are scripts read by non-government organizations and also by the Air Force that are used during the flag folding ceremony.

These scripts range from historical timelines of the flag to religious themes. Traditionally, the flag of the United States plays a role in military funerals , [] and occasionally in funerals of other civil servants such as law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and U. A burial flag is draped over the deceased's casket as a pall during services.

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Just prior to the casket being lowered into the ground, the flag is ceremonially folded and presented to the deceased's next of kin as a token of respect. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see American Flag disambiguation. For the flag of the U. For for the U. Army's flag, see Flag of the United States Army. National flag. December 3, Grand Union Flag June 14, star version July 4, current star version. See also: Timeline of the flag of the United States.

Main article: Grand Union Flag. The star flag was in use from to , the second longest-used U. The current U. See also: Flag Acts U. See also: List of U.

See also: 51st state. Main article: United States Flag Code. This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. S Government Printing Office. Retrieved April 5, Retrieved December 13, The "Stripes and Stars" would remain a popular phrase into the 19th century.

Credit for the term "Stars and Stripes" has been given to the Marquis de Lafayette. See Mastai , pg. Retrieved September 12, Flag: An American Biography. Raven: A Journal of Vexillology. Archived from the original PDF on February 5, Trafford Publishing.

The Economic Times. September 22, Retrieved May 23, Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site. This site is secure. View a larger version of the infographic. The U. When we properly display this powerful symbol, we signal our respect for everything it represents. Keep your flag completely dry and folded properly — into a triangle, with the union blue section visible — before storing it in a well-ventilated area. If the flag is damaged or worn out, it should be disposed of with dignity.

The Flag of the United States of America is a symbol of freedom and liberty to which Americans pledge their allegiance. Standing at attention and facing the flag with their right hand over the heart, they recite:. Its 50 white stars on a blue field represent the 50 states. Guidelines for Displaying the Flag of the United States.

To order a U. Four years later, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing a nationwide observance of Flag Day on June 14, the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of Though Flag Day is not a federal holiday, the U. The tradition is not widely observed, however. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. This Day In History. Fast Flag Facts.