Arrow-right Camera

Spin Control

Thu., July 3, 2014, 2:32 p.m.

Go forth this Fourth and take the trivia quiz

So, you think you’re a good patriot. The flag pin on your lapel says “Made in the USA”. You sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before baseball games without looking at the words on the Jumbotron. You chanted USA during the World Cup even though you don’t understand soccer.

On July 4th, we all bleed red, white and blue. But before heading off for hot dogs, apple pie and fireworks, try your hand at our annual Independence Day Trivia quiz. It has 13 questions, one for each rebel colony. They start easy, and get a little tougher:

1. We celebrate July 4th as Independence Day because that’s the day
A. The first shots in the American Revolution were fired
B. The Declaration of Independence was approved
C. The British surrendered at Yorktown
D. King George signed a treaty granting the colonies independence.

2. The American flag you put out this morning has
A. More red stripes than white stripes
B. More white stripes than red stripes
C. An equal number of red and white stripes

3. Where was the Continental Congress meeting when it adopted the Declaration of Independence?
A. Boston
B. New York
C. Philadelphia
D. Richmond

4. Who reportedly said “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country”?
A. Thomas Paine
B. Patrick Henry
C. Nathan Hale
D. John Paul Jones

5. Which of the following signed the Declaration of Independence and became president?
A. George Washington
B. John Adams
C. James Madison
D. James Monroe|
E. All of the above

6. True or False: George Washington once served in the British army.

7. True or False: The American army invaded Canada during the Revolutionary War.

8. True or False: The vast majority of colonists supported independence from Great Britain in 1776.

9. True or False: Paul Revere warned residents from Lexington to Concord “the British are coming.”

10. After the Revolution, the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation and a Congress consisting of a single chamber. That Congress didn’t have the power to do what?
A. Levy taxes
B. Declare war
C. Set up a postal service
D. Coin money

11. In the U.S. Constitution, how were slaves counted for determining the number of representatives each state sent to Congress?
A. The same as other people in the state, they just didn’t get to vote.
B. They were counted like Indians rather than “free men”.
C. Each slave was counted as three-fifths of a person.
D. They weren’t counted at all.

12. When the Constitution set up the House of Representatives to have members based on each state’s population, it gave each state the number of representatives it would have until a census could be taken. Which state got the most representatives?
A. Massachusetts
B. New York
C. Pennsylvania
D. Virginia

13. The design of the first American flag is the stuff of legends – much of them in dispute – but the arrangement of the stars in the current 50-star flag was designed by
A. Norman Rockwell
B. The winner of an American Legion contest
C. A New York advertising firm hired by the White House
D. A high school student for a class assignment

For the answers, click here to go inside the blog.


1 B. The Continental Congress voted to declare independence on July 2, 1776, and approved the language of the declaration two days later.

2 A. Seven red, six white.

3. C. Philadelphia, which was sort of centrally located in the Colonies.

4. C. Nathan Hale, a Continental officer captured while spying behind enemy lines in New York, is reported to have said this or something similar before being hanged by the British.

4. B. Adams, along with Thomas Jefferson the declaration’s main author, were the only two future presidents in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress.

6. True. He served with the British in the French and Indian War

7. True. American forces led by Benedict Arnold tried unsuccessfully to seize Quebec.

8. False. The country was divided among those who wanted full independence, those who were “loyalists” to Great Britain and many who shifted back and forth depending on how the war was going.

9. False. Since the colonists in 1775 considered themselves British, that wouldn’t have made sense. What he probably would have said was “the Regulars are coming” meaning the British Army, or the Redcoats, which is what colonists would have called the regular army.

10. A. The Congress of the confederation had no power to levy a national tax. It relied on taxes from the states. Perhaps that’s why raising taxes is the first power listed for Congress in the Constitution.

11. C. One of the compromises between the northern and southern states in the Constitution was the three-fifths rule.

12. D. Virginia got 10, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts eight and New York six.

13. D. Robert Heft of Lancaster, Ohio, designed a 50-star flag as part of a class assignment. He got a B-, and sent the design to President Eisenhower in an effort to get his opinion and a better grade. Ike liked the design and selected it for the new flag. Heft got his grade changed to an A.

Your score:

0-3 right: You must be channeling George III
4-7 right: You must be channeling George Jefferson
8-13 right: You must be channeling George Washington

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.