Learn More About the American Flag

One of the treasures of the Museum’s collection, the 15-star flag, 

is a symbol of America that stirs us to pursue patriotism and good citizenship. 

Made between 1794 and 1818, this flag dates from the same era as the 

Star-Spangled Banner, which inspired our national anthem.

The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library was founded in 1975 by  

the Scottish Rite Freemasons of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, U.S.A.

The Pledge of AllegiAnce

On September 8, 1892 a Boston-based magazine, The Youth’s Companion, published 
a 23-word recitation for school children to celebrate the 400th anniversary of  
Columbus’ discovery of America.

I pledge allegiance to my Flag,
And to the Republic for which it stands:
One Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

Over the years, the words were changed to reflect a pledge of loyalty and devotion 
to not only the flag, but to a way of life—the American ideal. The last version, 
approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 14, 1954—Flag Day—reads:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
Of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands:
One Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

How are the pledges different?

What does the pledge mean to you?

We see the U.S. flag everywhere—at schools, post offices, homes—even in front of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. 
The choice of size, shape, color, and design on the flag tells us about the United States—what it stands for, what it believes in.

The MuseuM’s 15-sTAr flAg

Although the Museum’s 15-star flag looks like a flag, it is actually a banner, 
which means it was not intended to hang from a flagpole. 

It is  almost 200 years old, large (11 feet by 12¾ feet), and one of the Museum’s 
most valued treasures. It is made from wool bunting. The stars are made  
from linen.

Look carefully. 

The sTAr-sPAngled BAnner

Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics or words of the Unites States’ national  
anthem on September 13, 1814, the morning after a battle at Fort McHenry  
near Baltimore, Maryland. Read the first verse:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light 
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, 
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? 
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. 
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave 
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 

PArTs of A flAg

Each part of the flag has a specific name.

The hoist is the width of the flag.
The fly is the length of the flag.
pole is the tall piece of metal or wood from which the flag is flown. 
The canton is the upper corner of the flag (next to the flagpole).
The finial is the decorative ornament on top of the flagpole.

Draw a line from the word to where it is found on the flag.

The Flag: How to Respect It, How to Display It,1920s. Patriots Text Book Americanization  
Campaign. Courtesy of Warshaw Collection of Business Americana—Flags, Archives Center,  
National Museum of American History, Behring Center, Smithsonian Institution

scottish rite masonic museum & Library 15-star FLag


Long May She

What shape is it?


What are the colors?


How many stars do you see? 

How many stripes?


How is this flag different from the ones you see every day?






What would you like to ask Francis Scott Key about his lyrics?

Can you see some of the things he talks about in the Scottish Rite  
Masonic Museum & Library’s 15-star flag?

What do the lyrics mean to you?

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Scottish Rite Masonic 

Museum & Library