The American Flag: five things you'll want to know about the stars and bars on Flag Day

Friday, June 14 is National Flag Day. President Harry S. Truman signed an act to officially designate the day in 1949.

How much do you know about our national flag? Test your knowledge with this quiz!

Question 1. When did Missouri and Kansas get their stars?


Answer: From 1794-1818, the flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes. In 1818, President James Monroe signed an act which reduced the number of stripes to 13 and stated each new state would get their star on the Fourth of July following their admission to the Union. Missouri gained statehood in August of 1821 and got its star in the summer of 1822, and Kansas got its star in the summer of 1861, after the Sunflower State joined the Union in January of that year.

Question 2. When did the U.S. begin celebrating Flag Day?


Answer: On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which officially marked the beginning of a flag with thirteen stars and thirteen stripes. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation to make June 14 Flag Day. However, Flag Day was not officially celebrated until a Kansas City area native, President Harry S. Truman, signed an act of Congress to designate the day as National Flag Day in 1949.

Question 3. Who can order the flag at half staff?


Answer: There are 51 people in the U.S. who can order the flag to be flown at half staff – the governors of each state and the President. Those officials can order the flag to be flown at half staff for any person at government buildings. However, this is just an order and citizens or communities can exercise their first amendment right and fly the American flag at half staff for any citizen they wish to honor.

Question 4. Who created the largest American flag ever?


Answer: Thomas "Ski" Demski founded Superflag, a California company that develops super-sized American flags. In 1997, one of Demski's flags set a Guiness World Record as the largest flag ever created. The biggest Superflag is 128, 755 square feet and requires over 500 volunteers to help the colors fly. Demski's Superflags have been featured at several sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game. The largest flag record was broken by Romania in March of this year.

5. What happened to the national 9/11 flag?


Answer: The National 9/11 flag, a flag tattered in the terrorist attacks, now rests at the museum at Ground Zero in New York City. The flag completed a ten year journey around the country where veterans and American citizens in various communities worked to patch it back together before the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Tornado survivors in Joplin, Mo. and Greensburg, Kan. were part of those efforts. 41 Action News caught up with two NYC firefighters when the flag made a stop at Arrowhead Stadium in January 2011.

Print this article Back to Top