What does the American flag mean? When it was adopted as the national symbol in 1777, the flag signified patriotism for the United States. It has since been associated with other activities including military service, freedom of speech, artistic expression, and advertising. It has been the subject of protests and Supreme Court decisions. When we see the flag displayed in a government office, the meaning is clear, but what is communicated by wearing American flag underwear or when the flag appears on a bag of potatoes? Does the flag take on an additional meaning when it is used as the basis for a work of art, or does it cease to have any meaning at all? In this project I have examined some of the ways in which the American flag has been appropriated for purposes that are often far different than were intended 240 years ago in an attempt to question whether these new meanings are as legitimate or perhaps more legitimate than the original, patriotic meaning.