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25 Gorgeous American Flag Pictures Bound to Make You Feel Patriotic

We asked readers to submit a photo they took of the American flag and to tell us what it makes them feel. Here, the Grand Prize winner of our photo contest, plus more powerful finalists.

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. 

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. If you love these American flag pictures, check out these American flag facts you never knew.

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.

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. Don't miss these facts about Washington D.C. you didn't know.

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. 

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 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

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. Check out more American flag pictures in the most surprising places.

Courtesy Bredt Bredthauer

A remote flag

I took this photo on the Matanuska ferry between Haines and Skagway, Alaska. The photograph displays the American flag in one of the most remote parts of the country; the mountains in the background are part of the Chilkat Range. 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

Courtesy Sandra Miller

Reflections of Glory

My daughter lives in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and the Avenue of 444 Flags is right nearby. We always walk through it whenever I visit her and her family. 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. Sometimes it’s difficult to hold a conversation around them. —Sandra Miller, Buckhannon, West Virginia. According to this essay, we've forgotten to teach our kids patriotism. Here's how to bring it back. 

Courtesy Riza Medina

Back at the base

With my husband deployed to the Middle East with the Air National Guard, I live in the largely military town of Mountain Home, Idaho, near Mountain Home Air Force 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

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest