Government Structure & Symbols.
Holidays & Currency, too!

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Did you know the current 50-star, American flag was designed by a 17-year-old high school student as a school project in 1958? His history teacher gave him a B-, but his country gave him an A+.


The Name America is Derived from Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), who was an Italian Explorer, Navigator and Cartographer.

Long Form
United States of America

Short Form
United States

US / U.S. / USA / U.S.A.

The States


American Flag

The United States' flag is officially called the American Flag, but it’s often referred to by its nickname, "Old Glory.” The 50 stars represent the 50 states and the 13 horizontal red stripes represent the 13 original colonies. Blue symbolizes loyalty, devotion, truth, justice and friendship. Red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency. White symbolizes honesty and purity (Adopted: 1777 - 13-Star Version) (Adopted: 1960 - 50-Star Version).


Great Seal of the United States

The Great Seal of the United States is used for authenticating official documents from the U.S. Federal Government. The seal depicts an American Bald Eagle with a scroll in its beak that bears the unofficial national motto, "E Pluribus Unum" (one out of many). The eagle's claws grip the symbols of war and peace - the arrows that symbolize war and the olive branch that symbolizes peace (Adopted: 1782).

Government Type
Constitutional Federal Republic


U.S. Federal Government

3 Branches of Government

Makes Laws

The U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States that consists of 2 chambers – the U.S. Senate (upper chamber) and the U.S. House of Representatives (lower chamber).

Carries Out Laws

The U.S. President is both the chief of state and head of the government. The cabinet is appointed by the president and approved by the U.S. Senate.

Enforces Laws

The Supreme Court of the U.S. is the highest federal court of the United States. The 9 justices are nominated by the president with advice and consent by the U.S. Senate and appointed for life.


Main Political Parties

Democratic Party
Majority Ideology: Liberalism

Republication Party
Majority Ideology: Conservatism


The District




National Symbols

Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of the The Star-Spangled Banner during the War of 1812 upon witnessing the bombardment of American forces during the Battle of Baltimore and seeing the American flag still raised and waving in the dawn’s early light. Anthem credit: U.S. Army Music.

National Motto

In God We Trust (Adopted 1956)

National Bird


Bald Eagle (Adopted: 1782)

National Flower


Rose (Adopted: 1986)

National Tree


Oak (Adopted: 2004)

Federal holidays in the U.S. are public holidays that have been recognized by the federal government. The first 4 federal holidays were established 1870. They were Christmas Day, Independence Day, New Year's Day and Thanksgiving Day. George Washington's Birthday became a federal holiday in 1880.


2017 Federal Holidays

In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, federal holidays in the U.S. are observed on Mondays (to give federal employees 3-day weekends) except for Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

When a federal holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is observed as a federal holiday and when a holiday falls on a Sunday the following Monday is observed as a federal holiday. During federal holidays, most government offices, including post offices are closed. Banks, museums and malls are also closed.

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US Dollar



The United States dollar is also known as dollar, U.S. dollar or American dollar. Greenback is a common nickname. Colloquially, buck(s) is used to refer to dollars.


Dollars & Cents

The United States dollars' 7 banknote denominations are issued by the federal Bank called the Federal Reserve System. U.S. Coins are issued by the U.S. Mint.

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