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Last Updated: May 14th, 2012 - 04:57:44 

Flag Day

Flag Day
By Sarah Lane
May 19, 2012, 21:40 PST

Flag Day – June 14th

Where exactly did our national flag come from? Historians ventured a guess and thought perhaps a man named Francis Hopkinson designed it. It was also believed that a seamstress from Philadelphia named Betsy Ross hand sewed the first official flag.  It is certain that a man named Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, a song about the flag.  It wasn’t until June 24th, 1912 that an Executive Order was given recognizing the flag as our national symbol. 



There were many variations of the flag flown as the country was formed, but finally on June 14th, 1777, the birth of Flag Day, the final design was established.  The American Flag began with 13 stripes of alternating red and white, and 13 white stars in a blue field.  This represented the ‘New Constellation’ that was the 13 colonies.  It wasn’t until August 21st of 1959, that President Dwight D. Eisenhower provided for the arrangement of the stars in 9 rows staggered horizontally and 11 rows staggered vertically as we see the flag today.


Flag Day originated when a schoolteacher arranged for his pupils to celebrate the ‘Flag’s Birthday’ on the anniversary of the ‘Stars and Stripes,’ on June 14th.  In 1894 the governor of New York directed that on the day June 14th, the American flag be displayed on all public buildings and the day became known as Flag Day. 

Source:      National Museum of American History    

Additional Learning Links for The American Flag


US Flags and a Pictorial Pledge of Allegiance

Print out a flag to have on your door or window.  Then print out a copy of our pictorial Pledge of Allegiance and teach someone young this important part of American history.

Source:               ClassBrain

Reading Level:   Easy



The Flag of the United States of America

Color this worksheet, and show your pride in America. 

Available in HTML or PDF form.

Source:               ClassBrain

Reading Level:   Easy


The America Flag

The American Flag is an important symbol of not only the United States of America, but of freedom. Read about its creation and history in this supplemental resource.

Source:               ClassBrain

Reading Level:   Easy


The Flag of the U.S.

Read the Pledge of Allegiance in English, German, Spanish, French and more.  Also read the history of the evolution of the flag, and learn why the flag became known as “Old Glory.”  There are government sites, virtual tours, patriotic writings, and all sorts of flag etiquette.

Source:               Duane Streufert

Reading Level:   Moderate


Betsy Ross Homepage 

Here you will find the history of the flag, quotes and notes from the life of Betsy Ross, an American flags picture gallery, activities, flag trivia, a timeline, and a virtual tour of Betsy’s house.

Source:               Independence Hall Association

Reading Level:   Moderate


Flag History

This PBS special has interesting tidbits of information regarding the history of the flag.  Also learn all about ‘A Capital Fourth’ which is the celebration that takes place in Washington D.C. each 4th of July.  Take the puzzle challenge and unscramble the picture or create your very own musical fireworks display on the computer.

Source:               PBS & Capital Concerts

Reading Level:   Easy


The Star Spangled-Banner

Find out how we are preserving flags from our nation’s history, or solve the mystery of why the flag was altered and if there was battle damage.  Take the 10-question quiz to determine how much you really know about our country’s flag.

Source:               National Museum of American History

Reading Level:   Moderate

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