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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

The Stars and Stripes

As a nation the US people are hugely patriotic and this manifests itself no more so than in the prominent display of the US flag also know affectionately as the Stars and Stripes or the Star Spangled Banner.

At virtually every point of entry into the USA you will be met, at the immigration hall, by the US flag. Throughout the US it can be seen at monuments, cemeteries, outside people' s homes, flying above car lots, displayed on watercraft and of course at theme parks and attractions.

In addition to the flag itself its image can be seen on T Shirts, bags, pins and jewelry (more about this later). Even the lyrics of the US National Anthem are about this great symbol of patriotism.

Having acknowledged the popularity of the US flag what else do we know about it? Read on!

The flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, alternating red and white to represent the thirteen British colonies who declared independence from the United Kingdom and became the first states of the Union. In the top left hand corner a navy blue rectangle is home to fifty small, white five point stars intended to represent the existing fifty US states.

The design of the flag has changed many times since the original design was adopted in 1777 and the current design has been in use since since its adoption in 1960, over fifty five years, the longest period for any design of the US flag.

There are numerous ' rules' to be taken into consideration when displaying or using the design of the US flag, they are mainly in place to ensure respect for the flag.

The following are just a few of them:

It is permitted to have the perimeter of the flag trimmed with gold colored fringe provided it does not deface the flag. A trimmed flag is often displayed on ceremonial occasions such as parades and indoors in places such as buildings of public office and in the immigration hall!

The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground.

When the flag is displayed it should be in good condition, when it becomes frayed, tattered or torn it is no longer a fitting symbol of the US and it should be destroyed, preferably by burning.

The flag should never be used for wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. Hmmm don' t think this one is adhered to!

The flag should not be used for any advertising purpose, nor should it be embroidered, imprinted or otherwise embossed onto articles such as cushions, handkerchiefs. napkins or any other item intended for disposal after temporary use. Another one that isn' t actually observed.

There is a flag code and flag etiquette which covers the display of the flag both indoors and outdoors, in public and in private.

The flag has a long and interesting history, which is worth investigating if ever you have the time and would certainly make you think about it a bit more about when you next see it displayed.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 31 December 2015
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