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The American flag and its protocol

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Courtesy of answers.usa.gov

The Flag of the United States of America is a symbol of freedom and liberty to which Americans pledge their allegiance. It consists of thirteen alternating red and white stripes and fifty white stars on a blue field, with each star representing a state.

The colors on the flag represent:

  • Red: valor and bravery
  • White: purity and innocence
  • Blue: vigilance, perseverance, and justice


June 14 is Flag Day, and the week in which June 14 occurs is National Flag Week, which encourages Americans to display the flag outside their homes and businesses. Although Flag Day is not a federal holiday, Americans everywhere continue to honor the history and heritage (PDF document) it represents.

As a national symbol, there are certain guidelines for displaying the flag of the United States (PDF document). If you require additional information or direction on the federal level with regard to flag protocol, please call the Ceremonials Division of the Department of State's Office of Protocol at 1.202.647.1735.

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