AMERICAN FLAG FACTS

With 64 pieces, the American flag is one of the most complicated ones around, says flag expert Whitney Smith. It has been changed more than any national flag - 27 times.

The US flag is supposed to have a 10:19 width-to-length ratio (as specified in the United States flag code written in 1923), but this aspect is commonly ignored by flagmakers.

Burning is the proper way to dispose of a flag. The reason is so that old flags won't be used for rags. But when Smith advises people without fireplaces to put their worn-out flags in a plastic bag and send it to the trash instead, ``they're horrified,'' he says.

The United States was the first to use stars in its flag. America's flag design has inspired several others: Malaysia, Liberia, and Greece.

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