Flagsmart Knowledge-base


Flag Day of America & Flag Timeline

1. New Year's Day
15 Martin Luther King's Birthday *
20 Inauguration Day (Once every four years)
(3rd Mon.) Lee's Birthday (AL., MS., VA.)

(1st Mon.) Lincoln s Birthday (11 .DE.)
12. Lincoln's Birthday
(3rd Mon.) Washington's Birthday*

17. St. Patrick s Day
(Last Mon.) Seward's Day (AK.)

(3d Mon.) Patrick's Day (MA )
(4th Mon.) Confederate Memorial Day (AL., MS.)
(Last Fri.) Arbor Day (UT.)

1. Loyalty Day
(1st Thursday) National Day of Prayer,
(2nd Sun.) Mother's Day
(3rd Sat.) Armed Forces Day\
15 Armed Forces Day
(Last Mon.) Memorial Day' (Half-staff until noon)

(1st Mon.) Jefferson Davis Birthday
June 14th Flag Day
(3rd Sun) Father s Day

4. Independence Day*

4. Coast Guard Day - August 4
(2nd Mon.) Victory Day (Rl.)
(3rd Fri.) Admission Day (Hl.)

(1st Mon.) Labor Day
17. Constitution Day' Citizen Day
18. Patriot Day (911 Attack)

(2nd Mon.) Columbus Day,* Farmer's Day (Fl .)
(3rd Mon.) Alaska Day (AK.)
13 Navy Day


(1st Tues.) Election Day
10. Marine Corps Day
11. Veterans Day
(4th Thurs) Thanksgiving Day*

21. Forefather s Day
25. Christmas Day*

*Denotes Federal Holiday


  • 1776
January 1 -- The Grand Union flag is displayed on Prospect Hill. It has 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).
  • 1776
May -- Betsy Ross reports that she sewed the first American flag
  • 1777
June 14 -- Continental Congress adopts the following: Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation (stars represent Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island).
  • 1787
Captain Robert Gray carries the flag around the world on his sailing vessel (around the tip of South America, to China, and beyond). He discovered a great river and named it after his boat The Columbia. His discovery was the basis of America's claim to the Oregon Territory.
  • 1795
Flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes (Vermont, Kentucky)
  • 1814
September 14 -- Francis Scott Key writes "The Star-Spangled Banner." It officially becomes the national anthem in 1931.
  • 1818
Flag with 20 stars and 13 stripes (it remains at 13 hereafter) (Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi)
  • 1819
Flag with 21 stars (Illinois)
  • 1820
Flag with 23 stars (Alabama, Maine)
first flag on Pikes Peak
  • 1822
Flag with 24 stars (Missouri)
  • 1836
Flag with 25 stars (Arkansas)
  • 1837
Flag with 26 stars (Michigan)
  • 1845
Flag with 27 stars (Florida)
  • 1846
Flag with 28 stars (Texas)
  • 1847
Flag with 29 stars (Iowa)
  • 1848
Flag with 30 stars (Wisconsin)
  • 1851
Flag with 31 stars (California)
  • 1858
Flag with 32 stars (Minnesota)
  • 1859
Flag with 33 stars (Oregon)
  • 1861
Flag with 34 stars; (Kansas)
first Confederate Flag (Stars and Bars) adopted in Montgomery, Alabama
  • 1863
Flag with 35 stars (West Virginia)
  • 1865
Flag with 36 stars (Nevada)
  • 1867
Flag with 37 stars (Nebraska)
  • 1869
First flag on a postage stamp
  • 1877
Flag with 38 stars (Colorado)
  • 1890
Flag with 43 stars (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho)
  • 1891
Flag with 44 stars (Wyoming)
  • 1892
"Pledge of Allegiance" first published in a magazine called "The Youth's Companion," written by Francis Bellamy. The words, "under God" were added on June 14, 1954.
  • 1896
Flag with 45 stars (Utah)
  • 1908
Flag with 46 stars (Oklahoma)
  • 1909
Robert Peary places the flag his wife sewed atop the North Pole. He left pieces of another flag along the way. He was never censored for his action.
  • 1912
Flag with 48 stars (New Mexico, Arizona)
  • 1945
The flag that flew over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is flown over the White House on August 14, when the Japanese accepted surrender terms.
  • 1949
August 3 -- Truman signs bill requesting the President call for Flag Day (June 14) observance each year by proclamation.
  • 1959
Flag with 49 stars (Alaska)
  • 1960
Flag with 50 stars (Hawaii)
  • 1963
Flag placed on top of Mount Everest by Barry Bishop.
  • 1969
July 20 -- The American flag is placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong
  • 1995
December 12 -- The Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment is narrowly defeated in the Senate. The Amendment to the Constitution would make burning the flag a punishable crime.
  • Flags Mart


Displaying the Flag Outdoors

When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.
When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.
When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Raising and Lowering the Flag

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag Indoors

When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.
The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.
When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.
When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.

Parading and Saluting the Flag

When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The Salute

To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem

The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in Mourning

To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
  • Flags Mart
Principles of Flag Design

Principles of Flag Design

Flag designs exhibit a number of regularities, arising from a variety of practical concerns, historical circumstances, and cultural prescriptions that have shaped and continue to shape their evolution.

First among the practical issues confronting a vexillographer is the necessity for the design to be manufactured (and often mass produced) into or onto a piece of cloth, which will subsequently be hoisted aloft in the outdoors to represent an organization, individual or idea. In this respect, flag design departs considerably from logo design: logos are predominantly still images to be read off a page, screen, or billboard, while flags are alternately draped and fluttering images to be seen from a variety of distances and angles. The prevalence of simple bold colors and shapes in flag design attests to these practical issues.

Flag design is also a historical process in which current designs often refer back to previous designs, effectively quoting, elaborating, or commenting upon them. Families of current flags may derive from a few common ancestors as in the cases of the Pan-African colours, the Pan-Arab colors, the Pan-Slavic colours, the Nordic Cross and the Ottoman flag.

Certain cultures prescribe the proper design of flags, through heraldic or other authoritative systems. Prescription may be based on religious principles: see, for example, Islamic flags. As a discipline, vexillology is beginning to promote design principles based on a body of research on flag history and design. Prominent examples are Ted Kaye's five Good Flag, Bad Flag principles published and endorsed by the North American Vexillological Association:

1. Keep It Simple: the flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
2. Use Meaningful Symbolism: the flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors: limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
4. No Lettering or Seals: never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
5. Be Distinctive or Be Related: avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.
  • Abdul Rehman