The American Flag (True Books, American Symbols)

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. What are the nicknames for the United States flag?
Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, and the Star-Spangled Banner. The U.S. flag is a symbol of freedom. It stands for the land, the people, and the government of the United States of America.

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2. What was the Grand Union flag?
A flag designed by the American colonies in 1775. The Grand Union flag was designed at Benjamin Franklin's suggestion. It displayed the Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner, and the rest was made up of thirteen red and white horizontal stripes. These stripes (7 red and 6 white) represented the thirteen colonies.

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3. What did the first U.S. flag look like?
It had thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen white stars on a blue background. The thirteen stars and stripes represented the thirteen colonies. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a law creating this design as the first Official Flag of the United States. However, this law was not specific, and there were many different flag designs: some stars had five points and some had six points; some stars were set in a circle and some in rows; some had seven red stripes and some had six red stripes.

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4. What do the colors of the U.S. flag represent?
The U.S. flag is red, white, and blue: red represents courage; white represents purity or goodness; and blue represents justice.

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5. On what day of the year does the United States celebrate Flag Day?
June 14. Flag Day was first celebrated on June 14, 1877. This was the 100th anniversary of the first U.S. Flag. In 1949, President Harry Truman signed legislation making Flag Day a day of national observance.

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6. Today, how does the U.S. flag change when a state is admitted to the Union?
A new star is added to the flag. In 1795, after Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the Union, two stars and two stripes were added to the U.S. flag. However, with the addition of more and more states, it was not possible to add a new stripe for each new state. Therefore, Congressman Wendover of New York City suggested keeping thirteen red and white stripes to represent the thirteen original colonies and adding a new star to represent the new state. Congress agreed and passed the third Flag Act of the United States on April 4, 1818, stating whenever a state was added, the new flag would fly on the next Fourth of July.

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7. How many stars and stripes does the U.S. flag have today?
50 stars and 13 stripes. Since 1960, the U.S. flag contains 50 white stars on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes (7 red stripes and 6 white stripes). The 50 stars represent the 50 states of the U.S., and the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies. The fifty-star flag is the twenty-seventh official flag of the United States since the first Flag Law of 1777. Did you know Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959, making them the last two states to join the Union?

Did you know the thirteen original colonies were Virginia (1607), New Jersey (1618), Massachusetts (1620), New Hampshire (1622), Pennsylvania (1623), New York (1624), Maryland (1634), Connecticut (1635), Rhode Island (1636), Delaware (1638), North Carolina (1653), South Carolina (1670), and Georgia (1733)? The dates refer to the first permanent white settlements.

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Allegiance: Devotion, loyalty
Colony: Region of land ruled by a foreign country
Justice: Fair treatment for all
Pledge: Promise
Resolution: The act of coming to a decision
Symbol: Something that stands for another thing

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a. What are the words to the Pledge of Allegiance?
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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b. What is the name of the first official flag of Great Britain?
The Union Jack. Before England and Scotland united in 1603, and became Great Britain, each country had its own flag. England's flag was called St. George's Cross, and it was a red cross on a white background. Scotland's flag was called St. Andrew's Cross, and it was a white cross (shaped like an X) on a blue background. When these two countries were united, their flags were merged into the Union Jack. Did you know when the first American colony of Virginia was founded in 1607, by English settlers, the Union Jack was flown?

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c. What year was your state admitted to the United States?
Alabama (1819) Alaska (1959) Arizona (1912) Arkansas (1836) California (1850) Colorado (1876) Connecticut (1788) Delaware (1787) Florida (1845) Georgia (1788) Hawaii (1959) Idaho (1890) Illinois (1818) Indiana (1816) Iowa (1846) Kansas (1861) Kentucky (1792) Louisiana (1812) Maine (1820) Maryland (1788) Massachusetts (1788) Michigan (1837) Minnesota (1858) Mississippi (1817) Missouri (1821) Montana (1889) Nebraska (1867) Nevada (1864) New Hampshire (1788) New Jersey (1787) New Mexico (1912) New York (1788) North Carolina (1789) North Dakota (1889) Ohio (1803) Oklahoma (1907) Oregon (1859) Pennsylvania (1787) Rhode Island (1790) South Carolina (1788) South Dakota (1889) Tennessee (1796) Texas (1845) Utah (1896) Vermont (1791) Virginia (1788) Washington (1889) West Virginia (1863) Wisconsin (1848) Wyoming (1890)

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d. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
We pledge allegiance to the flag in Girl Scouts.

My ancestors lived in the Massachusetts colony.

The yard-duty keeps the justice on the playground.

The President takes a pledge of loyalty before taking office.

My parents and I had a resolution when we decided to go to Disney World for a summer vacation.

The flag is a symbol for the U.S.A.

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e. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about the American Flag:
The Flag of the United States of America
History of the Flags of the United States of America (plus State Flags)
National Flag Day Foundation, Inc.
Betsy Ross Home Page

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American Symbols In Depth:
American Symbols Main Page
American Flag in Depth  |  National Anthem in Depth
Statue of Liberty in Depth
 |  Bald Eagle in Depth

 


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