American Symbols Mrs. Eason 4th Grade
The American Flag • On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act, which said that the flag would be made up of thirteen alternating red and white stripes and thirteen white stars on a blue field. • Stars have been added to the flag as new states join the union. Currently, the flag contains 50 stars.
Why are the colors Red, White and Blue? • White: Signifies purity and innocence • Red: Signifies valor and bravery • Blue: Signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice
Why Stars and Stripes? • Stars are considered a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial • the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.
Interactive Flag coloring page • http://bensguide.gpo.gov/flash/color_the_flag.html
The Bald Eagle • The bald eagle is a large, powerful, brown bird with a white head and tail. The term "bald" does not mean that this bird lacks feathers. Instead, it comes from the word piebald, an old word, meaning "marked with white." • The bald eagle was chosen as the U.S. national symbol because it symbolized strength, courage, freedom, and immortality
The Great Seal of the United States • On July 4, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were given the task of creating a seal for the United States of America • In the center of the seal is a bald eagle, our national bird. • It holds in its beak a scroll inscribed E pluribus unum, which is Latin meaning "out of many, one" and stands for one nation that was created from 13 colonies. • In one claw is an olive branch, while the other holds a bundle of thirteen arrows. The olive branch and arrows "denote the power of peace and war." • A shield with thirteen red and white stripes covers the eagle's breast.
Do you see a PATTERN of 13??? • Thirteen represents the first thirteen states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Reverse side of the seal • Referred to as the “spiritual side” • 13 step pyramid with the year 1776 in roman Numerals at the base • At the top is the Eye of Providence • Motto - Annuit Coeptis; means He favors our undertaings • Below the pyramid, a scroll reads, Novus Ordo Seclorum, meaning "New Order of the Ages." It refers to 1776 as the beginning of the American new era.
The Seal Interactive Coloring Page • http://bensguide.gpo.gov/flash/color_the_great_seal.html
The Liberty Bell • The Liberty Bell rang when the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence and has become the symbol of freedom in the United States. The bell weighs about 2000 pounds and is made mostly of copper (70%) and tin (25%). • The bell cracked soon after it arrived in Philadelphia. Local craftsmen John Pass and John Stow cast a new bell in 1753, using metal from the English bell. • By 1846 a thin crack began to affect the sound of the bell. The bell was repaired in 1846 and rang for a George Washington’s birthday celebration, but the bell cracked again and has not been rung since. • No one knows why the bell cracked either time.
The National Floral Emblem:The Rose • The rose became the official flower of the United States in 1986. • The rose is a symbol of love, beauty, war, and politics throughout the world. • The flowers are generally red, pink, white, or yellow and grow naturally throughout North America
Uncle Sam • Uncle Sam, a figure symbolizing the United States, is portrayed as a tall, white-haired man with a goatee. He is often dressed in red, white, and blue, and wears a top hat. • The exact origins of Uncle Sam as a symbol for the United States are unknown. But the most widely accepted theory is that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel Wilson. • Samuel Wilson was a businessman from Troy, NY that supplied the U.S. Army with beef in barrels. The barrels were labeled "U.S." When asked what the initials stood for, one of Wilson's workers said it stood for Uncle Sam Wilson. • The suggestion that the meat shipments came from "Uncle Sam" led to the idea that Uncle Sam symbolized the Federal Government and association stuck.
Uncle Sam Interactive Coloring Page • http://bensguide.gpo.gov/flash/color_uncle_sam.html
Fun Interactive Games • http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/games/interactive.html