World

Fly Your Flag!

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
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    intermediate

There are around 200 countries in the world, including large ones, small ones, old ones, new ones, disputed ones and some controlled by other countries or kingdoms (politics is complicated!). Each one has its own flag.

Question and Wonder:

  • Why do countries have flags? What are they for?
  • What are on different flags?
  • Why are symbols important to those countries?
  • What are the most common colors for flags? Why those colors?

There are 50 stars and 13 stripes on the American flag. The 50 stars represent each of the 50 states in the U.S. and the 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies that became the first states in the Union. History states that red, white and blue were chosen as the colors to represent valor (red), liberty and purity (white), and justice and loyalty (blue).

There have been 27 different versions of the flag, each with a different amount of stars. As states were added the number of stars changed. The final version was designed by a 17 year old high school student after the addition of Alaska and Hawaii as states.

Go on a google search for flags of other countries. Read and talk about the designs.

Imagine and Design:

  • If you were designing a flag for your family, what would it look like?
  • What symbols or images do you think would best represent who you are? Why?
  • Would you use words or pictures?
  • What things make you think of home and family? How could you use those things on a flag?

Imagine are a country and design a flag that describes you. Ask your family and friends what things make them think about you.

Test and Discuss:

  • How will the things your family and friends said influence the design of your flag?
  • What do you think the flag will say about you? Why?
  • Will your flag change as you grow up? How?
  • What does designing your own flag teach you about the flags of other countries?

Extension activity:

What would your anthem be?

Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to our national anthem after he witnessed the British attack at Fort McHenry. He watched the British ‘rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,’ yet still saw ‘that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.’

 

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