What Do The Colors Of The American Flag Mean? Find Out

America’s history stretches several decades back. The country is old, and there is so much that has happened. 

How much do you know about America as a country and its history? If you are an American citizen, you should know much about your country, making you feel patriotic and love it more.

Some things that represent a country are its people, culture, government, presidency, and history. 

A country’s heritage and pride can also be found in its history and constitution. The United States is a country with a rich history, and its citizens are proud of it. 

The question today is,

What Do the Colors of the American Flag Mean?

The United States Flag comprises three colors, blue, red, and white. The colors carry a meaning that has been the same since 1777. The Flag and its colors are the country’s pride.

The color red shows hardiness and valor, while white stripes are a symbol of innocence and purity, while blue shows perseverance, vigilance, and justice.

Deeper Meaning Of The American Flag Colors


The red color is also called “Old Glory Red.” It signifies many art and literature works. It is a color that expresses energy, desire, excitement, passion, and intensity in all things. The red color on the Flag symbolizes the hardiness of the American people and courage.

Red is used to communicate bloodshed by its people when fighting for their freedom and readiness to sacrifice and work hard for their country.


The white color on the American Flag symbolizes innocence and purity. White color is associated with peace and calmness. As a result, the color represents the people’s purity and peace as a nation.


Blue on the American Flag also goes by “Old Glory Blue.” It is a color that symbolizes vigilance, perseverance, and justice. It is a color that also reminds U.S. citizens of the sky and ocean and things people see every day.

America is a country that believes in justice as its pillar in democracy. As a result, the country cannot function without justice hence the representation by blue. 

Justice is everywhere in America. It is in the equality of people, education opportunities, the justice system, economy, and other areas to make all Americans great.

American people believe in perseverance irrespective of the challenges they are facing. Beyond all the failure, opposition, and difficulties they face, the American people will keep the spirit and push forward.

Vigilance is the third meaning of the color blue on the American Flag. It means that the American people will always be vigilant at all times. 

It also means staying focused and determined for long periods with the eyes on the prize and the American dream.

Stars And Stripes Meaning On The U.S Flag

Stars & white and red stripes on the United States Flag also carry a meaning many people do not know much about.

The 50 white stars found on the American Flag represent 50 union states. The 50 stars have been on the Flag since July 4th, 1960. 

The American Flag also has six white and seven red horizontal stripes. They are 13 horizontal stripes that signify the original 13 colonies by the British.

The History Of The American Flag

The United States flag has experienced some changes over the past years throughout the country’s history. 

The current one is the 27th design. However, the first Flag was in 1777. After that, the Flag received 26 modifications. 

An excellent example of the changes in the U.S. flag is the number of white stars. At first, it was 48 stars used for 47 years before a change on July 4th, 1959, to 49 stars. 

However, it did not last for a long time as it was changed to the current 50-star on August 21st, 1959, by then-President Eisenhower and adopted in July of 1960. 

This version of America’s Flag has been used for the longest time and is the current one.

Guidelines On Decoration Of The U.S. Flag

The United States flag is sovereign and must be respected. As a result, rules have been set on what you can and cannot with the Flag. 

One of the oldest rules allows the Flag to be decorated by using golden fringe around its perimeter as long as the decorations do not deface the Flag. 

People use fringe to decorate and enhance the Flag’s appearance when displaying the Flag for parades, indoor posts, and other ceremonial events. 

The Air Force and Army are also fringe the U.S. flag for a parade, indoor display, and color guard. The Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Navy do not use a fringed flag.

However, it is essential to note that there are no clear guidelines on using a fringed flag by a citizen. 

Outdoor Display Of The American Flag

The following are guidelines for displaying the U.S. flag outdoor in various places and styles.

Displaying The U.S. Flap Outside Your House

1. Horizontal Rope on a Building

When you want to hang the U.S. flag on a horizontal rope from your building, make sure you position it vertically, and the canton should be on the farthest part of the building.

The starfield must be on the top side, and it should be your left side which is the right side of the Flag.

In cases where you have to hang the Flag over any street, the starfield must always point east or north.

2. Flag on a pole attached to a wall

If you would like to hang the American Flag on a pole attached to your wall, make sure that it is at the far top of the pole and should be either diagonal or horizontal from your wall. If there are any other flags, it should be on top.

In cases where you want to display the American Flag along alongside other flags and a similar height, place the Flag on the farthest left(Flag’s right).

Displaying U. S Flag On A Flagpole (Outside)

1. Multiple Flags

If you hung the Flag on a pole, outside, with other flags, the American Flag should be above the rest of the flags. Also, make sure it is more significant or the same size as the rest.

According to the U.S. flag etiquette, an international Flag must share the same pole as the U.S. flag. In cases where they are military or state flags, they may be flown lower than the American Flag but cannot be larger.

2. Several Flags per Pole

The U.S. flag guidelines state that it should always be on its right side. In cases where the Flag is flying with other flags from other countries, then it should be of the same height and size as the rest of the flags.

US Flag Displaying At Night

It is a tricky question many people struggle with, especially citizens who do not know how to handle such a case. 

The U.S. flag should always fly where there is light. As a result, you may fly the American Flag at night as long as there is a light source and you can see the Flag. 

It means that you can let the Flag fly if you have a pole light, street lights, or your security lights are good enough. Failure to do this, you should bring the Flag inside.

In cases where the weather is harsh, there are no specific guidelines on doing this. However, you may decide to bring the Flag in to reduce damage by the weather or leave it to fly as long as you meet all the other guidelines.

Displaying U.S. Flag Indoor

1. On staff, in a group.

When you display the U.S. flag indoors and with other flags, make sure that the Flag is on its far right. You should be able to view it on the left. You should display the rest of the flags in precedence order.

For cases where you are dealing with foreign flags, make sure they follow each other in alphabetical order and in line. 

When you fly a foreign flag alongside the U.S. flag indoors, ensure both flags are on the same height for the respect of the foreign visitor.

At official functions, fly the Presidential Flag following international flags, next have state flags in their order of union, then military flags. 

However, for the military flags, you have to make sure that you follow their flying order. The next in line would be any military organizational members, organizations, and last other flags such as clubs and corporate.

Two Flags Flying On Crossed Staffs On A Wall

For cases where there is a need to fly the United States flag with its staff, make sure it is on the right, and its staff should overlap other flags.

U.S. Flag and a Speaker

Always have the United States flag displayed on a speaker’s right side. In case there are different flags, they should be on the left. Even in this case, place the U.S. flag on its furthest right of any other flags.

U.S. Flag Against the Wall (indoors)

When displaying the U.S. speaker behind any speaker, make sure it is horizontal and should be over the head of the speaker.

In cases where you are using a flat wall, place the Flag vertical or horizontal to the wall with the canton facing the U.S. flag’s right.

For a display in a window, display the Flag vertically, and the canton should be at the Flag’s right side.

U.S. Flag Half-Staff Rules and Dates

Here are the dates the United States flag should be at half-staff.

  • Memorial Day. Happens on Last Monday of May (between sunrise and noon)
  • Patriot Day held every September 11th
  • Every May 15th (between sunrise and sunset), Peace Officers Memorial Day, exceptions when it is an Armed Forces Day.
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, held every December 7th (between sunrise and sunset.
  • National Firefighters Memorial Day

Other Special Flag-Flying Days

  • June 14th. The day commemorates the day the U.S adopted the Flag by the resolution of the Second Continental Congress 1777.
  • Veterans Day, November 11th. It honors the country’s veterans. It is a celebration day; hence the Flag fly full staff and other military flags to support the veterans.
  • President’s Day, every third Monday of February. 
  • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, which happens on July 27th. It marks the signing of the treaty to end the Korean War.

Guidelines on Flaying the U.S. Flag Half-Staff

  1. In most cases, when the Flag is flown half-staff, it is done the whole day. However, for Memorial Day, half-staff is until noon.
  2. For cases where you are dealing with a vertical pole, you should first raise the Flag briskly to the pole’s top before you can lower it down to half. You should do the same when lowering the Flag by slightly rising to the top and then lowering it.
  3. When using a telescoping pole, you are allowed to use the second ring when putting the U.S. flag and leave the top set. 
  4. In cases where the U.S. flag is flying half-staff, then the rest of the Flag, including the state flag, should also fly half-staff.


The American Flag is sovereign to the people of the United States. As a result, it is simple of unity whose every color and simple has a meaning that unites people. Every color and symbol on the color is respected. 

The American Flag has several rules that guide its handling and use and must adhere to. Always check to know what you can and cannot do with the Flag. Every United States citizen also must protect the integrity of the country’s flag at all times.

John Taylor
John Taylor
John Taylor is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years of experience as a professional. He has written professionally for many different organizations, such as The Atlantic and the Boston Globe. John can write on any topic you need him to cover, from business writing to creative nonfiction pieces. His portfolio speaks for his skills; he's not only an experienced writer but also an excellent editor and researcher!


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