The flag of the United States of America (more commonly known simply as the American Flag) consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton 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 fifty American states and the thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that rebelled against the British Crown and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and The Star-Spangled Banner (also the name of the national anthem).
The flag of the United States is one of the nation's most widely recognized symbols. Within the U.S. it is frequently displayed, not only on public buildings, but on private residences. It is also used as a motif on decals for car windows, and clothing ornaments such as badges and lapel pins. Throughout the world it is used in public discourse to refer to the U.S., not only as a nation, state, government, and set of policies, but also as an ideology and set of ideas.
Apart from the numbers of stars and stripes representing the number of current and original states, respectively, and the union with its stars representing a constellation, there is no legally defined symbolism to the colors and shapes on the flag. However, folk theories and traditions abound.