10 Great Images of the American Flag

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Flag Day 2017 marks a special milestone — the 240th anniversary of the Second Continental Congress adopting the American flag, on June 14, 1777. The design has changed quite a bit since then — there are 37 extra stars and a different configuration — but what that flag symbolizes lives on today. While the flag has come under attack by some as a symbol of oppression, the vast majority of Americans view it as a symbol of freedom. Happy Flag Day.


10. A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Credit: U.S. Navy/Mass Comm. Spec. 2nd Class Alan Gragg

U.S. Navy servicemen Jason McClinton (left) and Jared M. Polak stand at parade rest during a ceremony aboard the USS Pearl Harbor on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.


9. Common Cause

© Anthony Quintano

This was the scene in Boston Common on Memorial Day in 2012, when 33,000 flags were planted to commemorate every fallen Massachusetts service member from the Civil War to present.


8. Flying High

© Wally Gobetz

New York City’s George Washington Bridge is home to the largest free-flying American flag in the world. Measuring 90 feet vertically, it flies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, Sept. 11 and a few other national holidays.


7. States of the Union

© John Menard

There are 50 American flags encircling the Washington Monument, representing each of the states in the union.


6. Semper Fi

Credit: U.S. Navy/Lt. Bill Evans

The photo of the flag-raising scene at the Battle of Iwo Jima is one of the most iconic flag images in U.S. history. This is the 5th Marine Division Memorial, erected at the flag-raising site on Mount Suribachi. The U.S. Navy uses Iwo Jima today for carrier practice.


5. Oh, Say Can You See

© Rich Johnstone

A flag flies above the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore. The 15-star, 15-stripe flag represents the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that would later be adopted into the song, Star Spangled Banner.


4. Emancipation

© Ted Eytan

A military unit marches during DC Emancipation Day. Every April 16, Washington, DC celebrates the Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 that ended slavery in the district and freed 3,100 individuals.


3. Everyone Loves a Parade

© Cyndy Sims Parr

Children participate in a Fourth of July parade in New Hampshire.


2. Remembering the Fallen

Credit: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Perry Aston

Family members of six U.S Air Force service members hold flags they received during a funeral in 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery. The airmen lost their lives when their AC-47 gunship crashed during a Dec. 24, 1965 mission in Laos. Search teams visited the area many times between 1995 and 2011 before locating the remains of the fallen airmen.


1. Colors

Credit: U.S. Navy/Mass Comm. Spec. 1st Class Daniel Barker

U.S. Navy servicemen Timothy Crossno (left) and Adam Crist perform colors duties on Memorial Day at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


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