We see the American flag everywhere. Sometimes it's blowing in the wind in front of government buildings or it's proudly displayed in parades. It's even on the moon. We know the flag is a symbol of the United States, but what does it really mean? Why is it so important that military personnel salute the flag, and we sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at every major sporting event? Our flag has long been a symbol of freedom. Over one million American men and women have fought and died to protect that freedom. You may be wondering just what those colors mean.
The American Flag: Much More than a Piece of ClothThe American flag has gone through changes over the past two centuries, but the colors remain the same. The flag has 13 stripes, representing the 13 original colonies, and 50 stars to represent the 50 states. While the Stars and Stripes' colors did not have specific meaning when the flag was adopted in 1777, the creation of the Great Seal of the United States gave meaning to the colors. According to Charles Thompson, the Secretary of the Continental Congress, white signifies purity and innocence. red is for hardiness and valor. and blue is the "color of the Chief," and "signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice."
Honor Your Country in Your Own BackyardTo honor our great nation and its flag, we've compiled a list of red, white and blue flowers to include in your garden and flower bed design for Independence Day.
- Red - salvia, geranium, verbena, poppies, zinnia, begonias, mums, snapdragons and celosia.
- White - geranium, alyssum, shasta daisy, salvia, mums, snapdragons, verbena and zinnias.
- Blue - ageratum, blue bells, lobelia, verbena and salvia.