10 Surprising Facts About the American Flag and Patriotic Symbols in the United States

The American flag is one of the most recognizable symbols of patriotism in the United States. From the Revolutionary War to the present day, the flag has been a source of national pride and unity. However, there are many fascinating facts about the flag and its history that are not widely known. This article will explore 10 surprising facts about the American flag and its role in patriotic symbols in the United States.

1. The Stars and Stripes Have Been Around Since the Revolutionary War

The modern version of the American flag, which features 13 stripes and 50 stars, has been around since the 1960s. However, the flag has a much longer history than most people realize. The first version of the flag, known as the “Grand Union Flag,” was adopted by George Washington at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775. This flag featured 13 red and white stripes, representing the 13 colonies, with a British Union Jack in the upper left corner. Since then, the flag has gone through many changes in design and symbolism, but its core meaning has remained the same: a symbol of freedom and unity for all Americans.

2. The Colors of the Flag Have Special Meaning

The colors of the American flag have special meaning in addition to their aesthetic value. The red stripes represent hardiness and valor, while the white stripes symbolize purity and innocence. The blue field, which contains 50 white stars, represents justice, perseverance, and vigilance. Together, these colors represent the values of courage, honor, and freedom that are so important to Americans.

3. The First Flag Was Designed By a High School Student

The modern version of the American flag was designed in 1958 by Robert G. Heft, a high school student from Lancaster, Ohio. His design was chosen by President Dwight Eisenhower out of 1,500 submissions as part of a national flag design contest. Heft was awarded a B- in his high school design class for his design, but after it was chosen as the official flag of the United States he was given an A.

4. There Is an Official Flag Code in the United States

The U.S. Flag Code is a set of regulations that govern how the American flag should be handled and displayed. It outlines proper etiquette for displaying and disposing of the flag and provides guidelines for proper respect and care of the flag. For example, it is considered disrespectful to let the flag touch the ground or to fly it in inclement weather.

5. There Are Specific Rules for Folding the Flag

There are specific rules for folding the American flag that have been laid out by the U.S. Flag Code. The flag should be folded 13 times, representing each of the original 13 colonies, with each fold symbolizing a different patriotic quality such as loyalty, valor, justice, and so on. At the end of the ceremony, someone should present a “tribute” to those who have served or are serving in the military by reciting “God bless America” or another appropriate phrase while holding the folded flag in their arms.

6. There Are Special days to Honor the American Flag

The United States celebrates two special days each year to honor and pay tribute to the American Flag: Flag Day on June 14th and National Flag Week from June 14th – 21st. During these days, Americans are encouraged to display the flag proudly to demonstrate their respect for its symbolism and importance in our national identity.

7. There Is a Specific Design for Flying Multiple Flags

When flying multiple flags together, there is a specific design that should be followed according to U.S. Flag Code guidelines. The U.S. Flag should always be flown at the highest point and should be placed on its own separate pole from any other flags being flown at the same time. When multiple flags are flown together, they should be arranged in order of importance with the U.S. flag on top and any other flags below it in alphabetical order (e.g., state flags first followed by foreign flags).

8. The Pledge of Allegiance Was Originally Written in 1892

The Pledge of Allegiance was first written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist minister from Boston, Massachusetts. The pledge was written as part of a campaign to promote patriotism in public schools across America and was quickly adopted by Congress as an official salute to the United States flag. Since then, it has become an integral part of American culture and is recited at countless events such as sporting events and political rallies.

9. The National Anthem Was Written in 1814

The national anthem of the United States, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 against Britain. The song was inspired by Key’s experience witnessing a British naval bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during a stormy night in September 1814. The song was officially adopted as the national anthem in 1931 after being played at countless patriotic events throughout the 19th century.

10. The Statue of Liberty Was Dedicated in 1886

The Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most iconic patriotic symbols, representing freedom and hope for millions of people around the world who have sought refuge in America’s shores over the centuries. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and was dedicated on October 28th 1886 by President Grover Cleveland after being gifted to America by France as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. Since then it has become an internationally recognized symbol of freedom and hope for people all over the world who strive for peace, justice, and liberty.


The American flag is one of America’s most recognizable symbols of patriotism and national pride. Its history is full of fascinating stories that shed light on how patriotism has changed over time and how it continues to shape our national identity today. From its roots during the Revolutionary War to its prominent role in contemporary culture, the American flag continues to be an enduring symbol of freedom and unity for all Americans.

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