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Symbols of U.S. Government:
The Flag

The U.S. FlagThe U.S. flag has undergone many changes since the first official flag of 1777. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act, which said that the flag would be made up of thirteen alternating red and white stripes and thirteen white stars on a blue field. Stars have been added to the flag as new states join the union. Currently, the flag contains 50 stars.

Ever wonder why the flag is red, white, and blue? While the flag's colors did not have a specific meaning at the time, the colors were significant for the Great Seal of 1782.

  • White: Signifies purity and innocence
  • Red: Signifies valor and bravery
  • Blue: Signifies Vigilance, perseverance, and justice

Why stars and stripes? Stars are considered a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.

To learn more, check out the following resources:

  • Our Flag [PDF, 1.78MB], Senate Document 105-13. This document contains historical information, pictures, and other information about the U.S. flag.
  • The United States Code, Title 4 (Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States), Chapter 1 (The Flag). The U.S. Code is the permanent book of U.S. laws. To search, enter the word flag in the search terms box.