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Flag of the United States
The flag of the United States of America is a national flag. It has 7 red stripes and 6 white stripes. These 13 stripes represent the original thirteen colonies. The flag also has a blue canton, a rectangle in the top left corner. The canton has 50 stars, one white star for every state.
When a new state joins the United States a new flag is made with an extra star. The new flag is first flown on the 4th of July, Independence Day.
The last states to join the United States were Alaska and Hawaii in 1959. Alaska joined on 3 January 1959, so the new flag with 49 stars was used from 4 July 1959. Hawaii joined on 21 August 1959 so the flag with 50 stars that is used today was not flown until 4 July 1960. This 50 star design was created by Robert G. Heft for a school project.
The colors in the flag are red, white and blue. The colors have no special meaning in the flag, but in the coat of arms white stands for purity and innocence, red for bravery and strength and blue for watchfulness, perseverance and justice.
The flag is also often called the Stars and Stripes, the Star-Spangled Banner, or Old Glory. The national anthem of the United States is a reference to the flag.