Primary Source Learning: U.S. National Anthem & American Flag

Olympic Athletes Reception, crowd singing "Star Spangled Banner"

Help students learn about the history and contemporary contexts of the U.S. national anthem and the American flag.

Teaching resources

The Star Spangled Banner (K-2)

The Star Spangled Banner (grades 3-5)

Stars, Stripes and Symbols of America: Comparing Our Flag, Past and Present (grades 1-2)

Pledge of Allegiance Image Sequencing (grades 3-5)

Direct students do some background research on the U.S. flag and the U.S. National anthem. Then instruct them to read at least one of the 2017 news articles about national anthem protests as well as this article on football and political protests. Next, direct students to investigate U.S. legislation related to the national anthem and legislation related to the American flag. Finally, ask students to share (e.g., via writing , presentation, digital story, etc.) the new perspectives they have gained on the protests following their research. (high school; for middle school students you may wish to select articles or article excerpts and excerpts from specific congressional bills).

Related background and primary sources

Today in History: The Star Spangled Banner

Today in History: Flag Day