The history of the American flag

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The history of the American flag

1    Listen to the conversation and say if the friends are going to find the treasure in California.

2    Read the conversation for detail.

Jack:      What would you like to do today, my friends?
Emily:   Let's go to "the hills that shine with gold".
Jack:      What do you mean?
Emily:   I mean the Hollywood Hills.
Jack:      But what do you want to see there? The famous Hollywood sign is much better seen from
                a distance and there's really nothing else there. There are only houses...
Rob:       But what about the white horse? Is there a white horse there?
Jack:       No, I've never heard about anything like that.
Misha:   But there are sure to be some secret caves in the hills.
Jack:       Not that I know of. You see there are so many houses in this area, so there aren't so many secret places left.
Emily:    Oh, no. So we've travelled so far in vain.
Mark:     I told you before we left, but nobody wanted to listen.
Misha:    Has anybody got any more ideas?
Mark:     No, I think that's it. We're not clever enough to solve Robin MacWizard's mystery.
Jack:       What is it you're talking about?
Mark:     Let's tell him, everyone. It's not important anymore.
Rob:       A long time ago my ancestor hid a treasure somewhere. He left us some clues because
                he wanted it to be found one day, but we don't understand them. I think that we didn't manage
                to understand the clues because we don't know American history well enough.
Jack:       Maybe I can help you. If you want to tell me the clues.
Rob:       Sure. Here they are:

"Follow me and walk the road of stars, then go to the hills that shine with gold. Here's a map to help you if you have any trouble. Then find the place where the first, the third, the sixteenth and the twenty-sixth met. Look up and you'll see a huge white horse. Under this horse there is a deep cave. Follow the pictures on the wall, and they will lead you to the treasure."


Jack:       But it's very simple. I'm surprised you haven't noticed it yourselves!
Misha:   What is it?
Jack:       Look at the stars. Don't they remind you of anything?
Emily:    Let me think... Well, I didn't notice it before! These are the stars from the American flag!
Mark:     Wow! Now I see it too. But why are they connected in such a strange way?
Jack:       Let me tell you about the history of our flag and then you'll be able to answer your question yourself.

3   Read the story about the American flag and say if the following statements are true, false or whether there's no information in the text.

1.    The first American flag was created by the Pilgrims.
2.    The first American flag was designed by the author of the Declaration of Independence.
3.    George Washington designed the first flag.
4.    The story about Betsy Ross cannot be proved, but a lot of people believe it.
5.    There were thirteen stars and thirteen stripes on the original US flag.
6.    The stars and stripes used to symbolize the first thirteen states.
7.    More stars and stripes used to be added to the flag when more states joined the Union.
8.    Nowadays there are fifty stars and thirty-seven stripes on the flag.
9.    The stripes on the flag stand for all the states that the USA consists of today.
10. If another state joins the USA one day, another star will be added to the flag.

The history of the American flag

At the time of the Revolution, America needed its own flag to lead the soldiers into battle. The American flag was created even before the Declaration of Independence was signed. There is a story about it. Historians say that there are no facts to prove it, but people still believe it.

According to a popular story, the first American flag was made by Betsy Ross, a seamstress from Philadelphia. She did some sewing for George Washington, who at the time was the leader of the Continental Army. One day Washington and two other representatives from the Continental Congress came to Betsy Ross's shop and asked her to have a look at the drawing of the American flag. It had been designed by George Washington himself. He decided to have thirteen stars and thirteen stripes on the flag to symbolize the thirteen states of America. Betsey Ross made the flag and soon it became the most popular national symbol. It was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14,1777, and now on this day every year Americans celebrate Flag Day.
"But there are more than thirteen stars on the modern US flag," you may say and you'd be right.

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After the first thirteen colonies signed the Declaration of Independence and formed the Union, more colonies joined. In 1791 and 1792 Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the Union, so two more stars and two more stripes were added to the flag. As the Union grew, however, it became clear that the flag was becoming too big. In the end, it was decided to add a star for every new state, but to keep the number of stripes unchanged. So there will always be thirteen stripes on the American flag to commemorate the original thirteen colonies that started the Union. The last new star, bringing the total to 50, was added in 1960 after Hawaii became a state.
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Misha:   Now I understand. When Robin went to hide the treasure, he had to cross a lot of states,
                 so he simply showed us his route.
Mark:     Yes, he started in the second state, then he went to the
                 seventeenth... But wait. How do we know which state is which?
Jack:        Oh, that's easy. I don't remember exactly, but we can always find this information on the Internet.

4 Use the drawing of the flag and the information that the friends found and show Robin MacWizard's route on the map.

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5 Look ot the map on pages 1 78-1 79 and answer the questions.

1.    In which state did Robin start his journey?
2.    Where did he stop and hide the treasure?
3.    How many stars were there on the flag in 1825?


 6 Look at the map and answer the questions.

1.    Which state was named after an American president?
2.    Which states border on Canada?
3.    Which states do you think are the coldest?
4.    Which states would you like to visit on your summer holidays?
5.    What is closer to Europe: California or South Carolina?
6.    Did the Pilgrims land on the east or the west coast in 1620?
7.    Which coast has more states?


A Read for detail.

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Jack:        Yes', look, it's clear. Now we know the name of the state.
Misha:    But South Dakota's a big state. Where exactly is the treasure hidden?
Jack:        Don't forget about the rest of the clues. You've worked out most of them correctly.
Mark:      So in South Dakota we must find the mountains where gold was found...
Jack:        Correct.
Misha:    And then we must find the place where the first, the third, the sixteenth and the
                  twenty-sixth American presidents met.
Jack:         Yes! And don't worry. You can't miss it. This place is really famous and... rather big.
Emily:       Let's go together, Jack. We'll share the treasure with you. It'd only be fair after all your help.
Jack:         Thank you, but I can't. It's your treasure and your adventure. You have to do it yourselves,
                   and I have to stay  here and sort out my life.
Misha:     Thanks for everything. We'll write to you about what happens.
Jack:          OK, bye. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you.

В Try to be the first to guess where exactly in South Dakota the treasure is  hidden. Use any sources of information that are available to you.

Your active vocabulary

to be likely
to be unlikely
to be certain
to be sure
Los Angeles
Beverly Hills
Hollywood and Highland
Rodeo Drive
Mann's Chinese Theater
The Egyptian Theater
a celebrity
show business (show biz)
a film director
a camera operator
a musician
an Academy Award
a film studio
to take place
to suffer
to struggle
to do smth in vain

a premiere
the tickets are sold out
to advertise
to star
a cast
What's on?
a thriller
an adventure film
a documentary
a blockbuster
a cult film
a drama
a historical film
a fantasy film
a horror film
science fiction
an animated film / cartoon
a war film
a Western
a children's film
a soap opera
a comedy
a classic
a musical
an action film
a romance



Many people think that...
Everybody says that...
We all know that...
in general

But what about...?
But don't forget...
Very true, but...
But in fact...
 But actually...
And besides...
OK, but...
In reality...
The exception is...


К. И. Кауфман, М. Ю. Кауфман Английский язык: Счастливый английский.ру / Happy Учебник англ. яз. для 9 кл. общеобраз. учрежд.— Обнинск: Титул, 2008.— 288 с: ил.

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