A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

60 American Flag Pictures That Will Make You Feel Patriotic

Because every heart beats true under red, white and blue

American flag hanging from the back of a vintage Mack fire truck in Millville, New Jersey
JanaShea/Getty Images

Incredible American flag pictures that fill you with pride

The American flag is a national symbol that reminds us of the United States’ history and what the country stands for. The American flag’s roots trace back to the American Revolution, and the flag is woven into 4th of July history. The 13 red and white stripes stand for the 13 original colonies that fought for independence against Great Britain, and the 50 stars stand for the country’s 50 states. It’s a powerful symbol of freedom that’s recognized across the globe and is synonymous with life, liberty and freedom. You’ll likely see the American flag as a backdrop in a Memorial Day quote or 4th of July quote too!
Since it’s such a powerful symbol, the American flag is photographed often—think of how many American flag pictures you’ve seen on social media accompanied by special Independence Day captions or patriotic quotes. They’re truly remarkable. That’s why we asked readers to submit a photo they took of the American flag and to tell us what it makes them feel. Below, the Grand Prize winner of our photo contest is displayed—along with several finalists and other inspiring American flag photos we found. Take a look at these American flag pictures that will fill your heart with pride for the USA.
a retired Marine runs across his family’s cornfield in Harrisonburg, Virginia holding an american flag above his head
Courtesy Kate Magee

Grand Prize winner: Patriot project

“Shortly after his deployment to Afghanistan, my younger brother was wounded in an enemy rocket attack. I decided to create a photo essay to honor him and all those who have served. I photograph people with the Stars and Stripes and ask them what the flag means to them. Pictured here is retired Marine Robert Frazier, running across his family’s cornfield in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He, and I, are very proud of this country.” —Kate Magee, Richmond, Virginia. Don’t forget to read up on proper American flag etiquette.

Serious farmer on his porch with an American flag in low, golden sunlight
Steve Smith/Getty Images

Flying proudly in the heartland

This photo captures a beautiful image of the stars and stripes. How many of these American flag facts do you know?

barn exterior with a large painted american flag in quinebaug, connecticut
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

A powerful symbol

This beautiful display of red, white, and blue is truly a sight to see. Now, can you pass this tricky American flag quiz?

a view of the city of Philadelphia and an american flag through a window with droplets of rain
Courtesy Ashleigh Rockey

Flag in a droplet

“From my desk on the 22nd floor of my office in Philadelphia, I have an incredible view of the flag on the roof of the building across the street. I snapped this photo two years ago on a rainy day in April. When I went to edit it on my phone, I noticed that each raindrop was tinted with red, white, and blue. The complete American flag is reflected—reversed and upside down—in the center drop.” —Ashleigh Rockey, Kirklyn, Pennsylvania. This looks like something you’d see in a 4th of July movie!

a silhouetted figure holding an umbrella walks past an LED american flag in times square, new york city, on a rainy night
Jon-Pierre Kelani/EyeEm/Getty Images

The stars and stripes lit up

Proof that even if you don’t have an actual flag, you can still proudly display America’s colors. Don’t forget to add these 4th of July songs to your playlist.

Lit sparkler in front the American Flag for 4th of July celebration
SilverV/Getty Images

A spark of patriotism

Here’s to celebrating the USA! And here’s everything you need to know about 4th of July fireworks.

overhead view of a fruit tart designed like the american flag in a rectangular pan on a dark wood countertop

Freedom: sweet as pie

Who knew the red, white, and blue could look so delicious? Here are some of the best patriotic 4th of July recipes you can whip up for your cookout.

outside a window, a man stands admiring an american flag in the sunlight after a storm
Courtesy Michele Garrant

At attention

“After a windstorm last July, the flag in front of our home got flipped up and stuck on the flagpole. My boyfriend, an Air Force veteran, went outside to untangle it. About 15 minutes later, I realized he was still there, admiring the flag and watching the cars go by. I grabbed my camera and took this photo from our kitchen window. My boyfriend had no idea until he came inside, but now he thinks it’s just as idyllic as I do.” —Michele Garrant, Mooers Forks, New York

aerial shot of the top of Chimney Rock, North Carolina, with a waving American flag, and Lake Lure in the background among the Blue Ridge Mountains
JacobH/Getty Images

America the beautiful

Let freedom ring! Here are some great destinations to check out for a last-minute Memorial Day trip or a 4th of July weekend getaway.

Thousands of US flags decorate the front lawn of the Fort Lee High School in advance of election day and Veterans Day on November 6, 2016 in Fort Lee, NJ.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

A sea of stars and stripes

True symbols of American pride. Test your history knowledge by seeing how many of these 4th of July trivia facts you know.

the washington monument in washington, dc, as seen from the base of one of the flag poles. an american flag waves below a blue sky dotted with fluffly clouds
Courtesy Patrick Trepp

Long may it wave

“When I arrived at the Washington Monument on a photography trip in September 2014, I had a certain idea: to shoot straight up the monument and toward the sky. But after seeing the circle of 50 flags that surrounds the bottom of the structure, I decided I wanted a shot from the base of a flagpole. I revisited the site about four times throughout the day to find an hour when the sun did not conflict with the photo. In the end, I took just one picture. This was it.” —Patrick Trepp, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

an array of rocks in the sand along the Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior create the image of an american flag
Courtesy Julie Bishop

Stones and stripes

“On a cloudy morning walk along the Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior last July, my husband, my father, and I spotted this configuration of colorful rocks in the sand. I felt moved that someone had created such a distinct display of patriotism. And because my son had just completed four years of service in the U.S. Army, it meant that much more. The beach was empty on this day, but we left the arrangement undisturbed for others to enjoy as well.” —Julie Bishop, Weatherford, Texas

Portrait of a woman in a bikini underwater in a swimming pool with an American flag in the background in San Diego, California.
K.C. Alfred/Getty Images

Soaking in the red, white, and blue

This has to be one of the most unique American flag pictures out there! Don’t forge to bookmark this list of the best 4th of July fireworks display in each state.

an upward view of the sun streaming through a wavy american flag against they sky in atlantic highlands, new jersey
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The American flag shines through

A beautiful day to fly the American flag. By the way, do you know the difference between the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence?

an upward view of an american flag draped in a gentle curl around its flagpole outside the historic courthouse in Hamilton County, Indiana
Courtesy Andrew Schmidt

Memorial Day

“This flag flies over the honor roll memorial marker on the west side of my town’s historic courthouse in Hamilton County, Indiana. I took this photo just before Memorial Day a few years ago, and I loved the curved angle that the bottom edge of the flag made as it folded in on itself after a gust of wind. The flag quietly honors our heroes—the men and women who earned the freedom that I enjoy.” —Andrew Schmidt, Noblesville, Indiana

a large american flag waves on the side of a red barn in a snowy landscape in Cool Ridge, West Virginia
Courtesy Lynn Carr

The family barn

“Nothing reflects our country’s history better than Old Glory and old barns. On a bitterly cold winter’s day, I decided to hang this 8-foot-wide flag on our decades-old barn in Cool Ridge, West Virginia. The sun came out briefly during a break in the storm and lit the barn up from behind. This image was the result.” —Lynn Carr, Cool Ridge, West Virginia

an American flag waves above a stretch of sand with hand-drawn stars
PeskyMonkey/Getty Images

Stars and sand

Move over, starfish—we’re looking for different kinds of stars on this beach.

The moon rises behind a flag on Liberty Island in New York City on July 9, 2017 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

America over the moon

Don’t be fooled—there are 50 stars in this night sky.

A cute puppy poses in from of a barn with painted American flag.
DACowley/Getty Images

The pup of allegiance

A loyal dog sticking by the red, white, and blue! This American flag picture is paws-itively adorable.

a figure braves the wind to gaze upon an american flag with mountains in the background
Courtesy Bredt Bredthauer

A remote flag

“Contrasted with this young man’s back, the flag becomes a symbol more important than any one person’s identity. It eclipses race and gender to become an image of something greater than each of us as individuals.” —Bredt Bredthauer, Temple, Texas 

american flags reflected in the glossy surface of a memorial listing the names of those to be remembered
Courtesy Sandra Miller

Reflections of glory

“The memorial is both a visual and auditory experience. The sight of so many American flags is striking, but the whipping sound they make in the wind is unreal.” —Sandra Miller, Buckhannon, West Virginia

an American flag and sea, Port Angeles, Washington, USA
Ron Worobec/Getty Images

From sea to shining sea

The stars and stripes take to the sea!

American Flags On consecutive houses along a quaint neighborhood street
Chad Warpinski/EyeEm/Getty Images

Neighborhood flags

Waving with pride on American homes. Looking for some Independence Day humor? These 4th of July jokes will do the trick.

Rear View Of Baby Girl Holding American Flag
Evgeniya Lystsova/EyeEm/Getty Images

A small hand holds the flag

An adorable glimpse into America’s future.

portrait of a couple holding the american flag around themselves standing in a landscape at sunset
Courtesy Riza Medina

Back at the base

“This photo symbolizes the support of military families for our country. It also shows the love these two have for one another.” —Riza Medina, Mountain Home, Idaho

an american flag draped on some driftwood on a beach in florida
Courtesy Mary McCarey

Standout stars and stripes

“I took this photo of an American flag beach towel at a breezy park where driftwood is born. The flag looks so beautiful against the tree and the ocean.” —Mary McCarey, Tamarac, Florida 

light shines on a faded hanging hanging on a pole on the side of a blue building
Courtesy Carol Stroll

A stark comparison

“The blue of the building was bright and beautiful. The flag looked very weary and sad. It was a hard time in my life. In the flag, I saw empathy and felt comfort.” —Carol Stroll, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

a larg american flag hanging on porch in front of four rocking chairs
Joanna McCarthy/Getty Images

A patriotic porch companion

Hanging out with the red, white, and blue.

Rear View Of Graduates Standing Outside On A Sunny Day With An American Flag In The Background
Caelan Stulken/EyeEm/Getty Images

America’s bright future

This is one of those American flag pictures that’s truly inspirational. These graduation quotes are inspiring too.

A landscape with a white barn with the American flag painted on the side standing in front of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Wheat field in foreground
beklaus/Getty Images

For purple mountain majesties

The American flag hangs with pride in the mountains.

a wind tattered american flag lit from behind by the sun waves vibrantly against the blue of the sky
Courtesy Phil Matarrese

Grand ol’ flag

“I was on a location scout for a movie in Montana, and we stopped by a small general store in a tiny town. There was a tall makeshift flagpole with an old, worn but still vibrant American flag on it, flying proudly in the wind.” —Phill Matarrese, Alameda, California

American flags sit in the autumn setting sun in a public park in a village in upstate New York
Matt Champlin/Getty Images

Proudly standing in the park

The sun sets soundly on the stars and stripes.

Little boy running with American flag at sunset
D-Keine/Getty Images

Freedom flying across the field

One of the best (and cutest) American flag pictures we’ve seen!

a multiple exposure image of an american flag waving against a blue sky
Courtesy Ruthann Greene

Stripes at every angle

“I chose this image because I believe it symbolizes freedom for all and represents the many aspects of freedom we have in this country that we should always remember.” —Ruthann Greene, Meridian, Idaho

an american flag on a pole with a tulip field in the foreground
Grant Faint/Getty Images

More color to accompany the red, white, and blue

The stars, stripes, and flowers—what more can you ask for?

The side of a red barn in Eastern Washington State is decorated with a large heart containing the Stars and Stripes.
Terry W. Eggers/Getty Images

From America, with love

Filling our hearts with American pride.

a man on a horse waves an american flag to show support for the fire department helicopter in the background
Courtesy Susan Schaffer

United in freedom

“The land in Idaho where we live is pristine, with a large number of animals. Forest fires are common in the late summer months. The Wesley Fire that occurred in 2012 threatened the entire valley. Using our pond water to fight the fire, we felt compelled to show support for the resources used to protect us. I saddled my horse Moonshadow and rode parallel with the helicopter, proudly flying the American flag. The crew of the Sky Crane responded with their siren, and at that moment I had the clear understanding of the pride in being an American.” —Susan Schaffer, New Meadows, Idaho

view of the sun, an american flag, and the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the sail of the USS Norfolk
Courtesy Michael Dlabaj

A truly shining sea

“I took this photo in the Atlantic Ocean on top of the sail of the USS Norfolk, a U.S. nuclear-powered fast attack submarine on its final mission prior to inactivation in 2015. I am a U.S. Navy submariner who truly enjoys the opportunity to defend this great nation.” —Michael Dlabaj, Kittery, Maine

City in the Rain: silhouette of pedestrian with umbrella passing famous LED american flag in wet Times Square
BeyondImages/Getty Images

America in lights

Look at the stars and stripes shine!

Soldier and his young daughter walk hand in hand and the daughter holds a small american flag
SDI Productions/Getty Images

A guiding hand

This photo shows two things a soldier defends: family and freedom.

seen from behind, two women wrap themselves in a crocheted blanket with an american flag design
Courtesy Mark Greenberg

Wrapped in comfort

“Wrapped in the ‘flag blanket‘ reminded me of the many virtues symbolized by our flag.” —Mark Greenberg, Leawood, Kansas

an american flag is proudly displayed on a deck overlooking Lake Crescent with the Olympic Mountains in the background in Washington, USA
Courtesy Karen Jensen

Nature’s beauty

“My husband is a Vietnam veteran. This American flag is one of four flags that are proudly displayed over Lake Crescent, with the Olympic Mountains in the background. We display the American flags as a symbol of our love, loyalty, and respect for America.” —Karen Jensen, Port Angeles, Washington

A man seated at a diner counter wearing an air force vest with a large american flag on the back.
halbergman/Getty Images

Serving the American flag

A reminder that all gave some, but some gave all for the stars and stripes.

White washed window on a brick building with a flower filled window box and american flag sticking out of it.
huePhotography/Getty Images

A flag among flowers

One of the American flag pictures that shows two beautiful sights in a window box.

an american flag at sunset
Courtesy Kelli Druckemiller

Patriotic sunset

“I snapped this photo of the flag that flies at my home. The splendor of our American flag, gently unfurling as the sun set behind it, created a serene ending to the day.” —Kelli Druckemiller, McClure, Pennsylvania

a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Wings of Blue precision parachute team floats through the clear blue skies above Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscan, Arizona with an american flag
Courtesy Beth Holt

Flying at new heights

“We all looked to the skies with pride, respect, and admiration as a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Wings of Blue precision parachute team floated through the clear blue skies above Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscan, Arizona.” —Beth Holt, Box Elder, South Dakota

american flags blow in the wind on a sunny day in Malibu, CA
Lynne Gilbert/Getty Images

Waving in the wind

A patriotic sight any American can appreciate.

An old fashioned windpump against a bright blue sky behind a wooden pallet painted with the stars and stripes of the american flag
halbergman/Getty Images

Made in the USA

And proudly displayed in the yard! Here are some 4th of July crafts anyone can make.

sunlit american flag at the Bolivar ferry landing
Courtesy Patrick Jackson

We remember

“This photo was taken at the Bolivar ferry landing during the month of November, 2015, after the Paris terrorist attack. As you can see, the sun shining behind the flag created the image of a cross.” —Patrick Jackson, Crystal Beach, Texas

close of detail showing the texture of the fabric of an american flag
Tetra Images/Getty Images

The American flag up close

You can see the stitching of the stars and stripes.

two children salute an american flag painted on the side of a barn
Courtesy Margaret Yost

Pride in paint

“My nephew, who recently retired from a 24-year Army Reserve career, moved back on the farm where he was raised. He decided to restore an old shed. With just the upper left hand portion of the shed remaining to be painted, a thought struck him: ‘I wonder if I could create a flag on that remaining section?’ Here is the final project, with his grandsons Aiden and Jaxson.” —Margaret Yost, Etters, Pennsylvania

Jack russel puppy sleeping on American flag
Obradovic/Getty Images

Cuddling with Old Glory

That’s one patriotic small pup!

american flags line the side of a road for a running event in new york city
Elliot Fine/Getty Images

American flags lining the street

That’s a lot of red, white, and blue.

a man looks up at a firework exploding in the sky above an american flag
Courtesy Merry Carter

Watching in wonder

“Staring up at our beautiful flag never fails to fill me with pride. I love how the fireworks illuminate the flag, gracefully waving in the breeze.” —Merry Carter, Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania

American Flag created out of empty plastic cups stuck in a fence, Leland
Franz Marc Frei/Getty Images

The stars and stripes go plastic

Talk about a unique American flag picture! How long do you think it took to put this solo cup flag together?

American Flag lying on dashboard of a car on the road in Utah
Westend61/Getty Images

America on the dash

This flag gets to see its country from a different perspective.

a young boy stands among a field of american flags and reaches to adjust one that is leaning; Zachary, Louisiana
Courtesy Charlanne Cress

Paying his respects

“These American flags represented thousands of Louisiana soldiers who had given their lives for our magnificent country. My two-and-a-half-year-old grandson was in awe of so many flags. He reached to straighten a leaning flag. That was the moment I captured and could internalize those Louisiana soldiers who gave their lives so that my little grandson could walk freely as an American citizen.” —Charlanne Cress, Zachary, Louisiana

black and white image of an American Flag on an Old Classic Car at a Car Show
IrisImages/Getty Images

A classic look for an iconic flag

Even though this photo is in black and white, the spirit of the red, white, and blue comes through!

cute golden retriever sitting on floor and holding american flag
LightFieldStudios/Getty Images

Smiling with Old Glory

The stars and stripes are in good paws!

close up on the top of a waving american flag to see a bald eagle sitting at the top of a tree in the background
Courtesy Michael Nyikes

Silent guardian

“While respectfully facing the nearest flag, as the start of the workday Colors played, I thought I spotted a bald eagle sharing this honorable tribute with me. When I could zoom in on the image, I realized (with goosebumps) that I was witnessing two of the country’s most enduring symbols in one single frame.” —Michael Nyikes, Suffolk, Virginia

Next, read up on surprising United States trivia your history teachers never taught you.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Kelly Kuehn
Kelly Kuehn is a former editor for Reader’s Digest who covered entertainment, trivia and history. When she’s not working you can find her watching the latest and greatest movies, listening to a true-crime podcast (or two), blasting ‘90s music and hiking with her dog, Ryker, throughout the Finger Lakes.