Most often used as a reference to the American Flag. The flag consists of thirteen alternating red and white stripes, and fifty white stars on a field of blue in the upper left hand corner. The stripes are a symbol of the original thirteen colonies which declared independence from British rule, and the stars represent the current 50 states.

Can also refer to any other pattern of stripes and stars that is placed upon other products such as shirts, jackets, bikinis, and sporting goods. Often used by Americans as a blatant display of patriotism.

Stars and Stripes is the newspaper of the American military overseas. Taking its name, of course, from a familiar appellation of the country's flag, it covers both general and military-specific news, though usually concentrating on the latter, as well as sports scores, comics, Dear Abby (and Ann Landers, for that matter), classifieds, and even a crossword puzzle. It is published every day of the year except Christmas and New Year's Day, and is made available at no cost to US servicemembers via military post offices; it can also be purchased by others for $0.50. Although its publication is authorized by the Department of Defense, it is not an official organ of that agency, and its commentary on current events cannot be deemed to necessarily reflect the department's views. Those wishing to do so can also read it online at

Letters to the editor may be sent to

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