Add the US Flag into Word, Excel or PowerPoint

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Here’s how to find and add the US National Flag into Office documents, Word, Excel or PowerPoint then use some Office picture tools to enhance the image.

The same help can be used for any other national flag, just look for a different source.

Get the US Flag image

There are many, many copies of the US flag available. We’ve opted for the Wikipedia site because it has an SVG scalable version (preferred) and PNG versions for older MS Office and other programs.

SVG graphics are supported by Office 365 and Office 2019. They maintain high quality regardless of resizing.

Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_United_States.svg .  Below the image are a choice of images to download – right-click and choose ‘Save link as…’ (or similar depending on browser).

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For Office 365/2019 choose ‘Original file’ which is the SVG version.

Otherwise choose one of the ‘PNG preview’ options. Select a resolution larger than what you’ll need in your document.

An alternative source is the Office image search at Insert | Online pictures.  It gives you many variations to choose from though not necessarily the current version of the flag. The first image (top left) is from Wikipedia but it’s not the preferred SVG graphic.

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Click the funnel icon to filter the search.

Insert US Flag to Word, PowerPoint or Excel

Once the flag image is saved to your computer, it’s the usual process to insert into a document.  Go to Insert | Pictures, choose the image you just downloaded.

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In Office, you can resize and position the image just like any other.

Flag etiquette

The United States Flag Code has the rules for the use and display of the US national flag.  The penalties are not enforced and some of the code is widely ignored.

Most of the rules apply to physical flags but these two are relevant to computer documents:

 “ The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”:

This rule might be the US law that’s most commonly broken! Look in any souvenir shop.

“ The flag should never be upside down. According to the United States Flag Code, an American flag upside down means a sign of distress or great danger. “

It’s easy (too easy) to accidently ‘flip’ an image in Office when resizing from the edge handles.

Flag Effects

Once you have the image in Office, all the usual Office Graphic or Picture Format options are available.

Some of the Graphics Effects like Shadow, Reflection and Bevel add a little visual interest without distorting the flag to a level that might offend.

For a nice little shadow effect, try Graphics Effects | Shadow | Outer which adds a little ‘shadow’ to the right and bottom of the image.

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Reflection is another way to add a little effect to an image.

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Bevel is another choice.

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Beyond these choices there are many more available, especially if you’re using an SVG. Graphics Fill or Graphics Outline can change the colors of an image.

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