Fifth Grade Flag Essay



General Information

The purpose of The American Legion of Iowa Essay contest is to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the United States Flag on the part of elementary level students. Other objectives of the contest include the ability to gain knowledge of flag etiquette and respect for the flag.


Participants shall be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States and a resident of Iowa. All contestants must be students enrolled in the fifth grade in a public, parochial, military, private or state accredited home-school.


The format for the essay is limited to the following:

  • A one (1) page document
  • Contains 300 words or less
  • Double-spaced
  • 12-point font
  • The student’s own words and effort

The essay is to reflect the student’s perspective of what the United States Flag represents to them using facts from the United States Flag Code.

As a resource for teachers who want to invite the veterans into the classroom prior to participation or as an introduction to the contest, posts may also offer the classroom teacher:

A copy of the 20-minute video, “For Which It Stands” and it is available through Emblem Sales (Item #755.400) at a cost of $9.95.


Local and district contest awards, if any, will be the responsibility of the individual post and district. Each district finalist must be completed in time to be forwarded to The American Legion Department of Iowa Headquarters.

The Department finalists will be recognized in the same manner as other youth champions and will be invited to read their essay at the Department Convention. First, Second, and Third Place winners will also receive $500, $300, and $200, respectively from The American Legion of Iowa and American Legion of Iowa Foundation.


Local contests will be conducted and judged by the local sponsoring Legion Post, and the winning essay, along with certification form completed, will be forwarded as follows:

Individual Legion Posts will forward one winning entry to their District Children and Youth Chairman, with signed Participation Application, postmarked by January 2, 2022.

District entries will be judged by the respective District Children and Youth Chairman, and sent to Department Headquarters, postmarked by January 22, 2022.


Local Posts should begin working with their schools and home-schooled students in their community in September each year. Deadline for submission of the District winner must be certified and forwarded to Department Headquarters, postmarked not later than January 22, 2022.

Establishment of Policy: When consulting with any youth participating in an authorized event, TWO adults will be present. This policy applies to all official programs and events recognized by The American Legion of Iowa.

2021 Flag Essay Winners

The Fifth-Grade Flag Essay Contest winners were judged by the Department Children and Youth Committee.

Download a copy of the Department Finalists