Posted on Leave a comment

Flag vocabulary—a review

This is a good article that Larry wrote in January 2007, and worthy of review.

[photopress:Part_Names_of_Flag.jpg,thumb,left]Flag vocabulary is not universally known, so I created this diagram naming the different parts of a flag. As you see (click the image for larger picture), each component is given a distinct name, and there are even more than I’ve shown. Something I didn’t include on the diagram: the free flying end, opposite and parallel to the hoist, is also called the fly.

I am fascinated at how meticulous the U.S. Flag Code is in laying out the proportions for each component of the U.S. flag. Previously I wrote about the dimensions for length and width of the American flag, but many other details are available.

The Union’s position, size and color is addressed as well as the stripe width and diameter of the five-pointed stars in the Union.

Here is a chart to help understand how these go together. All the sizes are percentages of the hoist of the flag.

Flag Dimensions

Hoist Fly Union Hoist Union Fly Stripe Width Star Diameter
Ratio 1.9 .5385 .76 .0769 .0616
3′ 5.7′ 19″ 27″ 2.77″ 2.22″
4′ 7.6′ 26″ 36″ 3.69″ 2.96″
5′ 9.5′ 32″ 46″ 4.61″ 3.70″
6′ 11.4′ 39″ 55″ 5.54″ 4.44″

As you can see, every detail is accounted for in the design for consistency. By following these guidelines, all of our flags will look right.

Leave a Reply