Definition of the Stars and Stripes noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Stars and Stripes

BrE BrE//ðə ˌstɑːz ən ˈstraɪps//
; NAmE NAmE//ðə ˌstɑːrz ən ˈstraɪps//
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the national flag of the US Culturethe Stars and StripesThe US flag, usually called the Stars and Stripes, is an important symbol to all Americans. It is also known as Old Glory or the Star-Spangled Banner. During the revolution against Britain, George Washington asked Betsy Ross to make a flag as an encouragement for his soldiers. This flag had 13 stripes, seven red and six white, and in one corner 13 white stars on a blue background to represent the 13 states. On 14 June 1777 it became the flag of the independent US. As each new state became part of the US an extra star was added.Today, the flag is widely seen in the US. Government offices and schools have flags flying from flagpoles, and many people have flags outside their houses, especially on Independence Day. Children start the school day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance, a promise to be loyal to the flag and to their country. When somebody important dies, flags are flown at half mast/AmE half staff. When a soldier dies, his or her coffin is covered with a flag, and after the funeral the flag is given to the family. The flag has also been used as a symbol of protest, especially during the Vietnam War, when some people burnt the flag to show that they were ashamed of their country's actions.Each of the US states also has its own flag. State flags may show the state flower or bird, or other emblem.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: the Stars and Stripes