Flag code, history, and symbolism explained on Flag Day

A field of hundreds of American flags. Commemorating veteran's day, memorial day or 9/11.

AGWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday is Flag Day in the United States, a day to reflect on the symbol of the stars and stripes.

The white is for purity and innocence, the red is for valor, and the blue is for perseverance and justice. 50 stars represent the 50 states and the 13 stripes for the 13 original colonies.

The flag design has evolved, but it’s creation is shrouded in myth. While seamstress Betsy Ross often gets credit for sewing the first American flag, historians generally agree there’s little evidence to support that.

The U.S. has a flag code that regulates how the flag should be displayed and disposed of.
Westover Air Reserve Base told 22News what happens to their torn and tattered flags.

“We take our flags to Agawam Veteran’s Cemetery or Winchendon Cemetery and they have a crematorium for the flags so there is a beautiful process for it,” said Technical Sgt. Kaitlin Bellows of Westover Air Reserve Base.

“We will sound TAPS. We say the Pledge of Allegiance and then we burn the flags in a dignified fashion that we have here,” continued Director of Massachusetts Veterans Memorial cemetary System Richard Bastien.

According to the flag code, a flag should be displayed daily at every school, administration building of every public institution and at every polling place on election day.

The U.S. Flag code is federal law, but it is rarely enforced.