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Our Flag Throughout History

fitness graphic




  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Visual Arts
  • Mathematics
    Measurement, Representation
  • Social Studies
    U.S. History


3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students create a timeline of the history of the flag, which serves as a quick visual reference point for discussions of history as well as an interactive learning tool.



  • create a timeline.
  • properly document on the timeline important dates in the history of our flag.
  • attach images of presidents, flags, and other important historical visual references.


timeline, president, flag, state, graphic organizer, symbol

Materials Needed

  • red, white, and blue construction paper
  • glue
  • images of the presidents and of the U.S. flag throughout history; sources provided in the Lesson Plan section below.

Lesson Plan

In this activity, which students can do as a whole class or in smaller groups, challenge students to use library and/or Internet sources to create a timeline(s) illustrating the history of the U.S. flag. Tell students they should include on the timeline important events in the history of the flag and images of the flag throughout history. Have students particularly note the new states represented by each change in the flag. To provide additional historic reference points on the timeline, students might also include the names and/or photographs of the relevant U.S. presidents, and information about other important historical events.

Encourage students to make the timeline red, white, and blue! Have students cut a 2-inch strip of red construction paper and mark on it the "Year" reference points; mount a 2-inch strip of blue construction paper below the red strip, and mount a 2-inch strip of white construction paper below the blue. The blue and red areas of the timeline create a backdrop for photos or student-drawn images, including images of U.S. presidents, historic events, and the flag throughout history. The Presidents of the United States Web page, which is part of the White House Web site, provides a good source of presidential images. Several sources of flag images are noted below. The white strip makes a nice backdrop for timeline text.

Internet resources for flag images: If you or your students have Internet access, the following sites are excellent resources for this activity:

Display the timeline(s) on a classroom bulletin board.


Create a ten-question quiz about the completed timeline(s). Students will use the timeline(s) displayed as a source as they answer the questions. They should correctly answer at least eight of the ten questions.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

Return to the Flag Day lesson plan page.

See additional Flag Day lessons in the Education World articles A Salute to Flag Day and Celebrate the Stars and Stripes.


Originally published 05/24/2002
Last updated 05/26/2017