How to Make the American Flag

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When you purchase an American flag, they are often made from a single piece of nylon fabric. The red, white and blue design is dyed into the material. An American flag has thirteen red and white stripes, to symbolize the original American colonies. The fifty stars represent the American states. The following pattern gives instructions on how to make an American flag that measures just under three feet by five. The stars in this pattern are not sewed on, yet an industrious seamstress can alter the steps and attach the stars by needle and thread.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 strips of red fabric 32 inches by three inches
  • 3 strips of white fabric 32 inches by three inches
  • 3 strips of red fabric five feet by three inches
  • 3 strips of white fabric five feet by three inches
  • Blue rectangle 28 inches by 21 inches
  • White iron-on fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • 50 Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • 3 foot length of 2-inch bias tape
  • 2 1-inch grommets
  • Cut fifty stars from the iron-on white fabric. Each star should be two inches by two inches, and have five points. If you want stars to show up on both sides of the flag, you will need to cut 100 stars. Use the two inch by two inch template as a guide.

  • Arrange the stars on the blue rectangle. There will be nine staggered lines. Six stars are in the top row and five stars are in the second row. This pattern continues for all nine lines. Secure each star with a straight pin, and use a ruler to equally space each star. After the stars are affixed, begin ironing the stars to the blue fabric, one at a time. Remove each star's pin before ironing that star.

  • Sew together the red and white 32-inch strips of fabric. Begin with a red strip, and lay it against a white strip, sewing the length of the two strips together with a quarter-inch seam. As you add a new fabric strip, alternate colors. The end result will be a red and white, horizontal striped rectangle with a red stripe on the top and bottom of the piece.

  • Sew the red and white rectangle to the blue rectangle. The width of each rectangle is wider than its height. Sew the blue rectangle to the left side of the striped rectangle.

  • Sew the red and white five-foot strips of fabric together. Begin with a white strip, and lay it across a red strip, sewing the length of the two strips together with a quarter-inch seam. As you add a new fabric strip, alternate colors. The end result will be a red and white, horizontally striped rectangle with a white stripe on the top and a red stripe on the bottom.

  • Sew the two pieces of the flag together, with the white stripe edge sewn onto the bottom of the top half of the flag. Iron the seams flat on the reverse side of the flag. Use the zig-zag stitch of your sewing machine to sew over all seams. This will give the flag a more finished look on the reverse side.

  • Add a strip of bias tape to the left side of the American flag. The tape should be two inches wide, and folded to make two one-inch sides. The tape should wrap around the left edge of the flag, and sewn on.

  • Add a grommet to each end of the biased area. Affix a grommet to the lower left hand corner and the upper left hand corner of the flag. Create a hole through the fabric, in the center of each grommet, which will be used for hanging the flag.

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  • Photo Credit A. Johnson
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