Arrow-right Camera

Spin Control

Take the July 4th quiz

Happy Independence Day.

Spin Control is taking the day off, but if you’ve put out the flag, packed the cooler and bought the fireworks, only one question remains: Just how much do you really know about American history?

The real history, that is – not the stuff you pick up from listening to July 4th speeches, watching Mel Gibson movies or reading novels. Take the 13 question quiz and see what level of patriotic study you have achieved:

Flag stuff

Elementary school question: The Stars and Stripes, aka Old Glory, now has stars for the current states and stripes for the original ones. How many red stripes does the U.S. flag have?

High school question: How many stars in the top row of a 50-star flag?

Graduate level question: Of George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen and John Paul Jones, who can we say definitely fought under a contemporary version of the Stars and Stripes?

Declaration of Independence stuff

Elementary school question: Whose signature is larger than all others at the bottom of the declaration?

High school question: What are the three inalienable rights listed in the declaration?

Graduate level question: What three things did the signers pledge to each other at the close of the declaration?

Battle stuff

Elementary school question: American troops got significant military help from what country during the revolution?

High school question: The last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought where?

Graduate level question: Of battles of Lexington, Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga, Long Island, which happened after independence was declared?

Celebration stuff

Elementary school question: The fireworks that mark July 4th celebrations originated in what country?

High school question: Where was the first celebration of American independence held?

Graduate level question: On what day was that celebration held?

Extra credit

Two famous American documents, the Declaration and the Constitution, were signed by the people present when drafted. Among the following, who signed both documents? George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton.

Go inside for the answers.

Flag stuff: There are seven red stripes (and six white stripes). The top row of the 50-star flag has six stars (there are five rows of 6 and four rows of 5). There is a record of Jones flying a version of the Stars and Stripes on the Bonhomme Richard; regardless of what you might have seen in various paintings or movies, there is no credible contemporary account of the Stars and Stripes on a battlefield, because in that era, armies tended to fight under unit flags.

Declaration stuff: John Hancock’s signature is the large one in the middle. The enumerated rights are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The signers pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.”

Battle stuff: The French provided significant military and naval assistance, including at Yorktown, Virginia, the site of the last battle. Of the battles listed, the first three occurred before the declaration was ever proposed or drafted; the Battle of Long Island was fought in late July.

Celebration stuff: Fireworks were big in England and throughout Europe before the revolution but were invented in China. The first celebration of independence occurred in the city where the Continental Congress was meeting, Philadelphia. But it didn’t occur until July 8, 1776, after the declaration was ratified and copied, and the delegates announced it.

Extra credit: Of the people listed, only Franklin signed both. Washington and Hamilton were with the army while the declaration was being drafted. Jefferson was minister to France during the constitutional convention.

10-13 correct: You may be channeling George Washington.

5-9 correct: You may be channeling George Jetson.

0-4 correct: You may be channeling George III.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Spin Control

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.