10 Facts You May Not Know About Our National Flag

Even our National Flag has some interesting secrets to tell that avid flag lovers out there will be tickled to know. Beef up on your American Flag history and surprise your family and friends with your newly found historical prowess.

  • What do you call a person who is an expert on flag history? A Vexillologist.
  • Although Betsy Ross (born Elizabeth Phoebe Griscom) is widely accepted as the designer of our first national flag there is really no document to support that claim other than the involvement of her grandson in the early 1870s.
  • Who is the American explorer, in violation of flag rules, cut the American Flag into pieces but was honoured for doing it? Robert Peary
  • Today’s 50-star flag design came from a 17-year old student, Robert G. Heft. He created his design as part of a school project where he got a B (minus). President Dwight D. Eisenhower called Heft over the phone and told him that he chose his design over 1,500 designs, and because of this Heft’s teacher changed his grade from B- to an A.
  • Who is the US President who violated the US Flag Code by putting his signature on it? President George Bush in 2003 violated the US Flag code, which states that you can’t mark a flag in any way.
  • The first time the American flag was flown overseas was in 1805 over Fort Derne, Libya.
  • Walmart stores all over the country reported selling 7.8 million flags from September 11, 2001 to August 19, 2011 as compared to the previous year which sold 2.5 million.
  • How many days should the flag be flown at half-mast when the president dies? It should be flown at half-mast for 30 days from the day he dies. Ten days for the Vice-president.
  • “Gilligan’s Island,” an American sitcom that basked in solid ratings during its first season showed the U.S. flag (during the opening sequence 00:20) at half mast in the distance because it was filmed on November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated.
  • What will you do if your flag can’t be moved up and down to be flown at half-staff? It is recommended to put a black ribbon on the flag.
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