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The American Flag is one of the United States most widely recognized symbols. Within the United States the American Flag is frequently displayed, not only on public buildings, but on private residences. Throughout the world it is used in public discourse to refer to the United States, not only as a nation, state, government, and set of policies, but also as a set of ideals.
The American Flag consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the "union") bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars. The fifty stars on the flag represent the 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that rebelled against the British monarchy and became the first states in the Union.