Q:

What do the colors on the American flag represent?

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Quick Answer

According to USFlag.org, the combination of red, white and blue on the U.S. flag does not have any official meaning. However, the colors red, white and blue are taken from the Great Seal, to which meaning is ascribed. On the Great Seal, red represents hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue denotes vigilance, perseverance and justice. Blue is also described as the color of the chief.

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Full Answer

The U.S. flag was adopted by the Marine committee of the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia, Pa. As reported in Time Magazine, Mike Buss, a vexillologist with the American Legion, claims that the most obvious reason for the adoption of red, white and blue is that they are the colors of the mother country's flag, Great Britain's Union Jack. The gold fringe tassels that are sometimes found on the flag also bear no symbolic meaning. While the tassels do not violate any flag code, they are not required for display.

The meaning behind the flag's design is more commonly known than the meaning of the colors; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, while the 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies. There is another interpretation of the design that posits that the stars represent the heavens and the divine goals of mankind, and the stripes represent the sun and its rays shining down upon the Earth.

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