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Wednesday, May 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Think you know your American flag facts? Take the quiz to find out.

American flags cover the grass on the Gonzaga University campus on Sept. 11, 2015, in honor of all those who died during the attack on 9/11. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
American flags cover the grass on the Gonzaga University campus on Sept. 11, 2015, in honor of all those who died during the attack on 9/11. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Tuesday is Flag Day, and to celebrate, The Spokesman-Review offers a star-spangled quiz:

1. The words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written during what war?

A. American Revolution

B. War of 1812

C. Mexican-American War

D. Civil War

2. Without looking, how many stars are in the top row of the current 50-star flag?

A. Five

B. Six

C. Seven

D. Eight

3. Again without looking, which of the following statements about the American flag is correct?

A. There are more red stripes than white stripes.

B. There are more white stripes than red stripes.

C. There are an equal number of red and white stripes.

4. Still without peeking, how many horizontal rows of stars are in the current flag?

A. Eight

B. Nine

C. 10

5. True or False: The number of stars on the flag has varied with the number of states, but the number of stripes has always been the same.

6. Before the Continental Congress adopted the current design of white stars on a blue field and red and white stripes, American troops carried flags with other symbols. Which of the following was not on a colonial military flag?

A. A snake.

B. A pine tree.

C. The Union Jack

D. A grizzly bear

7. What was the longest period the American flag design has been unchanged?

A. 25 years

B. 47 years

C. 56 years

D. 61 years

8. What president signed the law designating June 14 as Flag Day?

A. Millard Fillmore

B. Abraham Lincoln

C. William Howard Taft

D. Harry Truman

9. Where was the Pledge of Allegiance first published?

A. In a youth magazine

B. In the Washington Post

C. In the Congressional Record

10. What was the last state to have a star added to the flag?

A. Arizona

B. Alaska

C. Hawaii

D. Puerto Rico

11. What does a flag flying upside down mean?

A. An American president has died.

B. It’s a call for assistance.

C. It’s flown for one day before a new flag design is issued.

12. When are new stars added to an American flag?

A. On Jan. 1 after a new state joins the union

B. On June 14 after a new state joins the union

C. On July 4 after a new state joins the union

D. Whenever Congress gets around to ordering it

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


1. B. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” after observing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry near Baltimore in 1814.

2. B. The flag alternates rows of six stars and five stars; rows of six are on top and bottom.

3. A. Seven red stripes, six white stripes.

4. B. Nine rows: five rows of six stars, four rows of five stars.

5. False. When the first two states were added, Congress added stars and stripes. In 1818, Congress decided that would eventually make the flag unwieldy, and put the stripes back to 13 for the original colonies and only added stars for new states.

6. D. California’s flag has a bear; colonial flags didn’t.

7. C. The current flag has been the longest-lasting, at 56 years and counting.

8. D. Truman signed the Flag Day legislation in 1950.

9. A. Bellamy’s Pledge of Allegiance first appeared in “The Youth’s Companion” in 1892.

10. C. Hawaii was the last state added to the union and the flag.

11. B. An upside-down flag is a call for assistance or a sign of emergency.

12. C. Flags change on the July 4 after statehood. When five states were added to the union in 1898, the flag went from 38 to 43 stars in 1899.

13. D. Bob Heft, a 17-year-old Ohio high school student, designed a 50-star flag for a history project after Alaska became the 49th state, and the design was later approved by President Dwight Eisenhower.

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