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The History of Flags
The history of flags dates back more than 4,000 years. Ancient flags, known as “vexilloids,” meaning “guide,” were metal or wooden poles that featured a unique carving at the top of the pole.
The first known metal flag came from Iran and dates back to 3,000 BC. Evidence of flags has also been found on ancient Greek coins and Egyptian tomb carvings. About 2,000 years ago, people began decorating these ancient vexilloids with fabric and other materials making them more similar to the modern flags we use today.
Flags are generally used to give people information. Knights, for example, carried flags in battle so they could distinguish friend from enemy. This was a good way to identify people covered in heavy armor. Flags are also greatly used as symbols and signals. A red flag represents a warning or danger. A white flag carries the universal meaning of surrender. Pirate flags usually feature some combination of a skull and cross-bones.What flags are you familiar with?
Today, every country in the world has it’s own unique flag. In the United States, every state also has its own flag. Do you know what your states flag looks like? Clubs and organizations also have flags to represent them. The Olympic flag, for example, features the five Olympic rings representing the coming together of people from five continents for competition. Each flag has a unique purpose and meaning behind it.
The Continental Congress adopted the United States flag on June 14, 1777. The original flag featured 13 red and white stripes and thirteen stars, one for each of the colonies. Today, our flag has 50 stars, one for each state. What does the American flag mean to you?