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With 64 pieces, the American flag is one of the most complicated ones around, says flag expert Whitney Smith. It has been changed more than any national flag - 27 times.

The US flag is supposed to have a 10:19 width-to-length ratio (as specified in the United States flag code written in 1923), but this aspect is commonly ignored by flagmakers.

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Burning is the proper way to dispose of a flag. The reason is so that old flags won't be used for rags. But when Smith advises people without fireplaces to put their worn-out flags in a plastic bag and send it to the trash instead, ``they're horrified,'' he says.

The United States was the first to use stars in its flag. America's flag design has inspired several others: Malaysia, Liberia, and Greece.

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