Sunday, July 2, 2017

Little Known Flag Trivia from the Army National Guard

By Paisley Kirkpatrick
I am a member of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and at our last meeting we had a guest speaker who gave us an informative accounting of the American flag. I found it very interesting and wanted to share some of the facts he gave us that you might find interesting as well.
During the manufacture of the flag, the material left over is never allowed to fall upon the floor. It always falls into containers.
The flag planted on the moon is made of nylon and set in an aluminum frame.
Miniature flags of the 40 United States and 124 United Nations were carried to the moon by the astronauts and brought back to Earth. These flags were distributed by President Nixon to the governors of the states and to the head of members of the United Nations.
The ball at the top of the flagpole is called a 'truck'. On an official government installation, inside the truck is a .45 caliber bullet, a .38 caliber bullet and a bullet for an M-16 rifle. In the event the truck falls and hits the ground, it is designed to break into 13 pieces, representing the original colonies.
At the base of each flagpole on an official government installation is a box buried in concrete. This box contains one saber, a .38 caliber pistol and a book of matches. In the event the enemy overtakes the last government installation, the survivor is to defend the flag with the saber and pistol and burn the flag with the matches so that the enemy cannot capture the flag.
There should be no guide wires on a flagpole. It must be free standing.
At military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776.
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
Betsy Ross Flag and the current flag
The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the "union") bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S. Nicknames for the flag include The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and The Star-Spangled Banner.


  1. All these interesting details of how the flag is respected, intended to be defended, and the care even in which the flag is made, reminds me of the way in which we should honor the symbol of our country and the courageous men and women who have fought and sacrificed to make and keep our country free.
    On this upcoming 4th of July I will have a renewed respect for our flag and our country because of your interesting and informative post. I never knew about the bullets and weapons hidden away in case of capture. Astounding to learn these things. Wow!
    My ancestors have not been in this country long enough for me to belong to the Daughters of the Revolution (that I know of). Some of the McNeals were exiled to North Carolina, but my part of the clan were exiled to Nova Scotia, Canada. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, they were so afraid the Americans were going to invade that they built a fort to defend themselves. It still stands today. The first time a military from America ever went there was to help them when a terrible explosion occurred in the harbor and devastated the city of Halifax. Every year on that date they play the United States National Anthem in gratitude for the help we provided during that disaster.
    This was a fascinating post, Paisley. I learned so many amazing factoids I never knew before.

  2. WOW thank you, Sarah. I feel the same as you and we proudly display the flag at our home.

  3. Paisley, your post was so interesting. Such facts adds to the pride we all should have for our Red, White & Blue! In every home we've lived in, we've always displayed the flag too.

    1. Thank you, Cheri. I was quite moved by the individual who gave the presentation. He was an elderly military man who was almost completely deaf and what a job he did telling us about the flag and the veterans who died to keep us free. I wanted to share it with you on this weekend.

  4. What a good post--things I never knew about our flag.
    I have witnessed several times the folding of the flag at gravesites or in a church. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. To me, the flag is all important, and those who burn it, stomp on it, etc. are just despicable individuals. Yet, when I see that, I think.."okay, go ahead and burn or stomp on our flag. That will not change one thing..our nation is still intact, and the flag is too. Your efforts are juvenile and useless. None of those acts will make a difference, except to make you..the perpetrator...feel big. Shame on you.
    THANKS, Paisley

    1. Thank you, Celia. I am a proud American and cry when I see our flag burned. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. Never knew about the truck or the box. Very interesting. Most everyone knows there are 13 stripes but most people can't tell anyone what is the color the first stripe. I think I was in first grade when I learned to correctly fold the flag and in second grade when I learned to carry the flag in a parade. Now children don't even know the Pledge of Allegiance. And very few men serve their country. (Fortunately more women are serving!)


  6. Yes, I agree with you. It is so sad some children don't know what a great country they live in. My daughter graduated High School without ever hearing about Pearl Harbor. I've always respected our flag and made sure my children did as well. Thank you for coming by.

  7. Your blog is very informative and containing robust information about the American flag. It has given me a clear idea on the layout of the American flag and the meaning of colors and stripes on it. All these interesting details clearly show how the American flag is respected and how it is made. I have learned so many exciting facts about the American flag. I have also ordered some Nylon American flags for my office after reading your blog. It is very inspiring. Big thanks to you!


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