Why Is the American Flag Red, White and Blue?

Have you ever wondered why the American flag is red, white and blue? Ever since its origins several centuries ago, the American flag has featured these three colors. The Betsy Ross flag, for instance, consisted of 13 stripes in red and white alternating colors, as well as a circle of white stars against a blue background in the upper-left corner. Since then, the American flag has been updated over two dozen times. Even the most recent version, however, still features a red, white and blue color scheme. So, why do these iconic flag colors represent exactly?

The Story Behind the American Flag’s Colors

According to Time, the American flag’s colors are attributed to the Great Seal of the United States. In 1776, government officials called for the creation of an official seal to represent the United States. Designers were asked to create prospective seals that reflected the country’s values. Eventually, a red, white and blue design was selected as the official Great Seal of the United States.

Why did government officials choose a red, white and blue seal exactly? Well, each of these three colors represents a value or belief held by the United States. White, for example, represents purity, whereas red represents valor. Blue, on the other hand,  represents justice and perseverance.

Of course, other people have different views regarding the meaning of the American flag’s color scheme. President Ronald Reagan, for instance, once proclaimed that the American flag featured red because it signifies “courage and readiness to sacrifice.” Reagan also said that the American flag features white because it represents “high ideals.”

Preserving the Colors of Your American Flag

If you own an American flag, you should take precautions to preserve its colors. Over time, American flags can fade to a lighter color. Your American flag probably won’t turn bleach-white, but it may develop a duller and more faded appearance. You can preserve the red, white and blue colors of your American flag by following a few simple steps.

First and foremost, choose a high-quality American flag that’s designed with a protective ultraviolet (UV) layer. With a UV layer, sunlight won’t be able to penetrate it, resulting in better protection against fading.

You can also preserve the colors of your American flag by displaying it in a semi-shaded area. Rather than displaying your American flag in the middle of your lawn, for instance, consider displaying it in front of your porch where it’s partially covered with shade.

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