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What Do the Colors of Our Flag Mean?

Children are used to seeing the American flag flying over government buildings and in their classrooms. They may not, however, understand the significance of the different parts of the flag. Do they know what the colors of our flag mean?

When the flag was originally created, the colors on it held no significance. However, when the Continental Congress adopted the Great Seal, the colors did have particular meanings. Those colors and their meanings were transferred to the Stars and Stripes at a later date, although no one knows exactly when.

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  • Red - There is some disagreement about what this color represents on the American flag. Originally the color was used on the Great Seal and was to represent hardiness and valor. Some have indicated that the color is indicative of the blood of the patriots who fought and died helping to make our country free and are still doing so.

  • White - This color has always signified purity and innocence.

  • Blue - Vigilance, perseverance and justice are what this color symbolizes.

    The thirteen stripes are purported to represent the thirteen original colonies of the United States. The fifty stars are said to represent each of the fifty states that make up this great country.

    If your children don't know the story behind the flag or what the colors or our flag mean, you may want to take time this year to teach them. Be sure to include the proper handling of the flag in a respectful manner.

    1. Flags are not to be displayed at night unless they are fully illuminated.

    2. The flag should not be flown in inclement weather.

    3. The flag is not to be allowed to touch the ground. If it does, the flag should be properly disposed of.

    4. Flags flown at half-staff are first hoisted to the top of the flag pole and then lowered. Normally you will see flags at half-staff, or half-mast, on governmental buildings only. Flags at half-staff signify the death of a former President. From sunrise to sunset they are placed at half-staff on May 15 for Peace Officers Memorial Day, from sunrise until noon on Memorial Day, from sunrise to sunset on September 11 which has been declared as Patriot Day, during October 5 to 11 for Fire Prevention Week, and then again on December 7 for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

    While the President of the United States cannot require the citizens of the country to fly their personal flags at half-staff, he may request that they join the government in flying them in that manner. The President may, at his discretion, declare other days as being recognized by flying the flag at this position.

    Perhaps you don't know, or have forgotten the significance of what the colors of our flag mean and its history. You may not be aware that the flag has be changed twenty-four times during is history. You can learn more about the flag's history by visiting the official website about the American flag, www.USflag.org.

    4th of July Articles


    4th of July Picnic Ideas - You can show your patriotism all throughout the year, but there's nothing quite like a good 4th of July picnic to celebrate America's freedom and the birth of our nation.

    4th of July Fireworks Craft - Why not take the time to break out the craft supplies and get creative. The artwork they create can help them celebrate July 4th whether they have real fireworks or not.


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