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A Flag Divided

Subject: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
Grade: K-2, 3-5

Featured GraphicBrief Description

Students learn about the flags of the Union and Confederacy, explore the symbolism of those flags, and create flags of their own.



  • demonstrate an understanding of symbolism,
  • identify the symbolism in flags,
  • use a variety of art materials safely and appropriately.


Civil War, flag, Confederacy, Union, art, symbolism

Materials Needed

computers with Internet access or print resources about flags; red, white, and blue felt; self-adhesive gold stars; double-sided adhesive tape; craft sticks

Lesson Plan

Discuss with students the concept of symbolism. Ask them to name symbols they see every day, such as arrows, yellow school buses, traffic signs and signals, restroom signs, and so on. Then have students explore Web sites such as The Flag of the United States of America or locate print resources about the history of the flag. Ask students to pay particular attention to information about the evolution of the flag, what the colors of the flag mean, and the flags of the Confederate states (in the Historic and Current Flags section of the above Web site). Then ask students these questions about both the Union and Confederate flags:

  • What do the stars represent?
  • What do the stripes represent?
  • What does each of the colors represent?
Provide students with directions on how to make a flag (see Make a Civil War Flag). Ask each student to re-create either a Confederate or a Union flag. When the flags are complete, encourage students to present their flags to their classmates and explain the flags' symbolism.


Evaluate students on their flags and on their explanations of the flags' symbolism.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World


Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

Social Sciences:


Originally published 06/05/2000
Last updated 03/18/2010