<Standard 3.9........................................................................................................Standard 3.11>

3.10 Explain the meaning of the stars and stripes in the American flag, and describe official procedures for the care and display of the flag.

external image Flag_of_the_United_States.svg

  • The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America. The blue square is officially known at the "union," as all of the states are bound in union.
  • The 13 stripes represent the original 13 British colonies that declared independence from the Great Britain.
  • Nicknames for the flag are "The Stars and Stripes," "Old Glory," and the "Star Spangled Banner."

Half -Mast Days
  • On half-mast days, the flag should be on half-mast from sunrise to sunset, excluding Memorial Day
  • Can be ordered by the President or state Governor
  • The Flag should be flown on half-mast on these days to remember those who were lost:
    • May 15: Peace Officers Memorial Day
    • Last Monday in May, Memorial Day (from sunrise to noon)
    • September 11: Patriots Day
    • Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
    • National Firefighters Memorial Day
    • December 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • For more information and to be notified of when the flag should be at half-mast, click here.

Care of the Flag
Here are some examples of caring for the flag:
  • There should be no markings or drawings on the flag
  • The colors should always be red, white, and blue
  • The flag should never touch the ground or stepped on
  • The flag should not be used for clothing, ceiling cover, desk covering, etc.
  • The flag should not be used in advertising
  • The flag should not be flown in bad weather conditions or at night
  • The union should ALWAYS be in upper left corner
  • When the flag is no longer in good condition, it should be disposed of in a respectable manner
  • Usually, the flag can be given to the American Legion or Boy Scouts for burning
    • Click here for instructions on disposing of an American Flag
Click here or here for information on how to properly fly the flag
Click here for more Flag Rules and Regulations

Multimedia.pngClick here for a video on folding the American flag

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on the importance and care of the American flag
lessonplan.jpgClick here for the PBS site on the American flag. Includes resources and classroom activity plans.