The 13 stripes on the American flag represent the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent the number of states in the Union. Originally, both were meant to represent American states, but since 1818, the number of stripes has been standardized at 13.Continue Reading
The initial design of the United States flag included one stripe and one star for each state in the Union. There were 13 states in 1776. In 1795, the admission of Vermont and Kentucky required an updated design, and for a time, the American flag bore 15 stars and 15 stripes. Francis Scott Key wrote about this version of the flag in "The Defence of Fort M'Henry," which later became "The Star Spangled Banner" and America's national anthem.
By 1818, the admission of Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi made the addition of a stripe for each state unsustainable. A new law set the standard at 13 stripes, with the number of stars to be updated every 4th of July as new states entered the Union. Over the years, there have been 39 official United States flags.
In its current design, the American flag's 13 stripes are equal in size, and the colors alternate between red and white. The 50 white stars appear in a blue rectangle located in the flag's canton, or union.Learn more about Symbolism
The American flag is typically referred to simply as "the American flag;" however, it was originally named "the Stars and Stripes" when first approved in 1777. The flag initially had 13 stars and 13 stripes to represent the number of colonies at the time, but both the amount of stars and stripes have changed over time.Full Answer >
When an American flag is no longer in a fit condition to serve as a symbol, the generally approved method of disposal is cremation. Usually, the flag is prepared in some way and then burned completely in a dignified ceremony.Full Answer >
The proper way to display the flag of the United States of America is with the union, or the field of stars, at the peak of a staff or flagpole. When hung on a wall, the union should be at the top left side.Full Answer >
Proper American flag etiquette for U.S. citizens includes standing at attention and saluting when the flag passes in a parade or is raised or lowered. The U.S. Flag Code, passed by Congress in 1942, provides guidelines regarding American flag etiquette. It can be access via the USFlag.org website.Full Answer >