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Last Updated: May 14th, 2012 - 04:53:42 

Flag Day

Flag Day - Symbols and Meanings of the US Flag
By US Superintendent of Documents
May 19, 2012, 12:11 PST

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What do each of the symbols of the US flag mean?

The 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.

Or take a look at this PDF document on the flag, entitled "Our Flag" for additional information.

Source: Superintendent of Documents

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