What Do the Stripes on the Flag Mean

What do the stripes on the flag mean? Have you ever wondered about this while looking at a United States flag? What about the other parts of the flag: the colors, the stars and the design? The US flag is rich in symbolism. Here are some interesting facts about the Stars and Stripes, and what they mean.

The Flag's Stripes
The US flag has 13 horizontal stripes, alternating red and white. These 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies of the United States. At one time, there was a plan to add more flag stripes as well as stars when new states joined the union; however, it was determined that the number of stripes would remain at 13, 7 red and 6 white, in honor of the first colonies.

The Flag's Stars
Up in the corner, in a field of blue, are 50 white, 5-pointed stars. These stars represent the 50 states of our nation. This is the part of the flag that has continued to grow and change as our nation has grown. The first flag featured a ring of 13 stars, and as states have been added to the union, stars have been added to the flag as well. The final change to our flag occurred in 1959, when Hawaii became our 50th state.

The Flag's Colors
There are many different ideas about what the colors of our flag mean, and why they were chosen. Some speculate that the red represents the hardiness and valor or the blood spilled fighting for our country while the white represents secession from England. Some say that white represents purity, while blue symbolizes vigilance and justice. Another idea is that the red, white and blue of our flag was chosen simply because those were the colors of England's flag, and designers of our flag wished to acknowledge the birthplace of our forefathers. However, there is no documented evidence that the original designers of our flag intended for the colors to symbolize anything.

The Stars and Stripes are easily recognized all over the world. Rich in history and even legend, the US flag is an enduring symbol of the American spirit.

Related Life123 Articles
Teaching American history doesn't have to be a dull exercise in memorizing dates and facts. These tips will help kids become fascinated with the dramatic stories behind the major events of history.
American history games can make the people and places of the past come alive. There are simple games you can play in person, as well as some great games for kids on the Web.
Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles
The history of the American flag offers a window into America's growth, the legends that shape our thoughts of the past and the symbolism that forges national identity. These tips will help you unlock a world of lessons involving our flag.
Use these ideas to teach Native American history to children, either as part of a curriculum or as part of their education outside the classroom.
It's important to teach kids the history of American government, because it provides valuable insights into the way our current government works. These tips and resources will help you explore the subject, whether you're homeschooling or simply encouraging more in-depth study.
© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company