the visual graphic design
A flag is a rectangular piece of cloth (most commonly square or rectangular), with specific colors and a distinguishing design. It is primarily used for identification, as a sign, or as an inspirational or decorative tool. The word flag is generally used to refer to both the visual graphic design used, and flags have developed into a useful general tool for identifying and signalling, especially for military and political situations.
It is not clear exactly when flags were first used. Records show that some of the earliest known flags date back to ancient Greece, though the exact origin is uncertain. The use of flags in the ancient world is linked to political occasions and the raising and lowering of flags at various points during the war. When a national flag is hoisted to the top of a government building, or when the national flag is lowered during a parade, the ritual of raising and lowering are often accompanied by a chorus of military bugles called “clappers”.
The Stars and Stripes
Flags are now used extensively in the United States. There are several types of flags, including the American flag, which is the ensign used on the battleship Chesapeake and the battleship Texas. The Stars and Stripes, which predate the United States, were also used during the American revolution. The Union Flag, which is the oldest flag still in use, predates the United States by almost two centuries. The Red Ensign, which flies on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek II, is the oldest of all US flags.
Historically, flags were used not only to identify military units but also for political purposes. When the Revolutionary War became a stalemate, the British used red and blue colors for their flags to signify the rank of the different military forces that were fighting against the Americans. In the Civil War, the red, white and blue served as the standard for distinguishing the Union forces from the Confederates. When the soldiers on both sides of the war fought fiercely, the Union forces would raise their flag to fly above their heads, to warn the other side that another battle was about to begin. After the cessation of hostilities, this practice of displaying the flag after battles had ended was called the “union salute”.
The red and white stripes
The first official national flag was the US flag, which was actually a flag made of cloth stretched horizontally on a pole. The Stars and Stripes, which had originally been created by English fishermen and immediately took to war, was actually created by Thomas Jefferson himself. He authorized the printing of a Constitution for the United States and gave a red and white design to the flag. The US government initially used this flag until abolished by Congress in 1850. The red and white stripes combined with the Stars and Stripes as its official emblem has remained ever since.
Historically, different countries tend to display their own flags differently. For instance, the flags of the United Kingdom are white, blue and red, while the American flag is red, blue and white. Many international business corporations also display the logo of their country on their company flag. Other types of flags that are commonly seen include the flags of the USA and the Vatican, the flags of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the flag of Myanmar and the flag of Namibia.