How Americans view the American flag, and other symbolic flags, in 2022

Linley SandersData Journalist
June 29, 2022, 2:42 PM GMT+0

There are few symbols more synonymous with Independence Day in the United States than the American flag. The red, white, and blue pattern is often flown in front of houses and adorns everything from baseball caps to flip-flops on the Fourth of July. And while 60% of Americans say they have a “very positive” view of the U.S. flag, YouGov polling shows that some groups of Americans are less enthusiastic.

A new YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adult citizens measured Americans’ views of the national flag, as well as other symbolic flags that are displayed in the U.S. The survey shows that Republicans, white Americans, and older Americans are particularly likely to have a very positive view of the American flag. Americans under 30 and Black Americans are less likely to view the flag in a “very positive” light — though a majority in each group see it favorably.

Americans are also quite familiar with the flag’s famous design. More than four in five Americans (86%) correctly say that there are 50 stars on the flag, and about three-quarters (76%) know there are 13 stripes. More than half of Americans (54%) say they have a U.S. flag at home. Among this group, 40% say they fly it daily, and 30% save it for holidays and special occasions.

How patriotic are Americans in 2022?

Most Americans see the act of flying the American flag as patriotic (70%), and a majority (60%) say the same about the act of wearing an American flag pin. But younger Americans — who see the American flag in a less positive light than older adults — also are less likely to call themselves patriotic. The same applies to Democrats and Black Americans when compared to Republicans and white Americans, respectively.

How Americans view other symbolic flags

Besides the American flag and flags of other nations, there are other symbolic flags often displayed outside homes and at marches and political rallies. YouGov showed respondents several pictures of flags alongside the flags' names and asked whether they have a positive or negative opinion of each one. The American flag is viewed the most positively (77%), followed by the earlier, 13-star design of the Betsy Ross flag (57%). No other flag shown is viewed positively by a majority of Americans.

Democrats and Republicans differ in their view of many of the flags polled. Among the most divisive flags are the Trump 2024 flag (Republicans are 61 percentage points more likely than Democrats to see it positively) and the Biden-Harris flag (Democrats are 55 points more likely to see it positively). But the Black Lives Matter flag is just as polarizing (Democrats are 57 points more likely than Republicans to see it positively). Black Americans (63%) are twice as likely as white Americans (31%) to view the Black Lives Matter flag positively.

People who think of themselves as members of a political party are more likely to view flags that are associated with their party’s social causes in a more positive light. For instance, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to view positively the rainbow Gay Pride flag, Transgender Pride flag, and redesigned Gay and Transgender Pride flag. Republicans, on the other hand, have more positive views than Democrats do of the Gadsden (“Don’t Tread on Me”) Flag, the pro-police Thin Blue Line flag, the Confederate Flag, and the Come and Take It Flag.

— Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article.

This poll was conducted on June 15 - 17, 2022 among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this YouGov poll.

Related: What Americans think of the US flag in 2021