The Meaning of Flag Day

How does the American flag make one out of many? Our ebook, “The Meaning of Flag Day,” explores the history and significance of the American flag with selections from American authors and statesmen, including Francis Scott Key, Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, Abraham Lincoln, and John McCain. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion. This ebook includes a lesson plan on the American flag and the First Amendment by teacher Anne Continetti.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The History of Flag Day

This lesson highlights one of the Center’s biggest civic holidays —the birthday of the American flag. Using “The History of the U.S. Flag,” a video hosted by Terry Ruggles and produced by Drexel University and the Philadelphia Flag Day Association, this lesson encourages students to take a closer look at the American flag and its meaning.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Our Flag

“Traditionally a symbol of liberty, the American flag has carried the message of freedom to many parts of the world. Sometimes the same flag that was flying at a crucial moment in our history has been flown again in another place to symbolize continuity in our struggles for the cause of liberty.”
Our Flag, a Congressional publication, briefly describes the history of the flag, and sets forth the practices and observances appropriate to its display (Senate Document 109-18). 2007.

  • Resource Type: Books, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Flag Day Lesson Plan: A Lesson on Texas v. Johnson (1989)

Students will be able to: understand the meaning of one central idea of the First Amendment (symbolic speech); cite textual evidence to analyze a primary source (Supreme Court opinion and dissent); become familiar with reading and comprehending a Supreme Court opinion and dissent; evaluate two Supreme Court Justices’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue; and assess different arguments about the meaning and importance of the American flag as a national symbol.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 11, 12

Flag Burning: Texas v. Johnson (1989)

This lesson explores Texas v. Johnson, the controversial 1989 Supreme Court decision on flag burning. First, students read about and discuss Texas v. Johnson. Then in small groups, students role play aides to a U.S. senator on the Judiciary Committee. The committee is considering a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning flag burning, and the aides must make a recommendation on whether the senator should support or oppose the proposed amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Making One Out of Many: A Lesson on “The Namesake” by Willa Cather

Of what use is the American flag in promoting national attachment? Explore the meaning of the flag as a symbol of the nation as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Willa Cather’s story with William Schambra. Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12