How to create pixel perfect United States flag in Adobe Illustrator

Believe you can and you half way there.

Theodore Roosevelt

Hello creators. In this vitorial I will show how to create American flag in Adobe Illustrator :

Final image of pixel perfect American flag

According to Wikipedia, the 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S.

Current 50 stars version of American flag was adopted in July 4, 1960. Among most popular nicknames of U.S. flag are Stars and Stripes and Old Glory. The last one gives it`s name to red and blue colors, that are used in flag design. They are Old Glory Red and Old Glory Blue respectively.

Creating stripes

Start with a new 1280x960px document. Go to rectangle tool and hit left mouse button key on your artboard to open dialog box. Set 798px for width and 32.3px for height. Click Ok to create your first stripe. Set fill color to #E0162B ( Old Glory Red ).

Now we need to make twelve duplicates of our stripe. Go to Effect>Distort and transform>Transform… and set:

  1. Move: Vertical to 32.3px ( leave horizontal to 0 ).
  2. Number of copies to 12

Create stripes of American flag

Click Ok. Expand your artwork going to Object>Expand Appearence. Hit right mouse button key on your stripes and choose Ungroup from contextual menu (you can also go to Object > Ungroup).

Select every even stripe with Selection Tool ( V ) and change fill color to white. Select all the stripes and group them :

How to create stripes in adobe Illustrator

Canton with Stars

Canton is referred to any quarter of a flag, but commonly it is upper left quarter.

Creating canton

To create blue background for our stars go to rectangle tool ( M ) and hit left mouse button on your artwork. In opened dialog box set 319.2 px for width and 226.17 px for height, click Ok.

Set the fill color to #0052A5 ( Old Glory Blue ).

Create star

Now we need to create star with defined size. Choose Star Tool ( hold left mouse button on rectangle tool ), than hit left mouse on your artwork. In opened dialog box set :

Radius 1 to 5px

Radius 2 to 12.936px

Click ok. Set fill color to white, keep it selected and double click on Rotate Tool ( R ) to open Rotate dialog box. Set angle value to 37.5 degrees and apply effect.

Steps to create star in US flag

Create pattern

Select your star and go to Effect>Distort and transform>Transform and set :

  1. Number of copies to 8
  2. Check Reflect X
  3. Move: 26. 46px for horizontal and 22.68px for vertical

Click OK. Go to Effect>Transform… ( choose apply new effect if you see the alert dialog box ) and set:

  1. Number of copies to 5
  2. Uncheck Reflect X
  3. Move: 0 for horizontal and 52.332 px for vertical.

Steps to create star pattern

Click ok to apply transformation. Keep selected and go to Object>Expand Appearence to expand your pattern.

Stars to delete

Now we need to delete rightmost column of stars. With Selection Tool ( V ) double click on your star pattern to open the group. Select last ( rightmost ) column of stars and double click on it to enter this group. Delete last column of 4 stars :

Select canton and star pattern with Selection Tool ( V ). Choose Align to Selection method and align them to the center both horizontally and vertically. Make a group ( Object>group )

Select Stripes and Stars ( our new group ) and align them left and top ( Horizontal Align Left and Vertical Align Top respectively ).

Congrats! Now you have vector pixel perfect American flag. Hope you like this tutorial. Please, share it with friends.

Any questions or comment? Use the comment form below.

Wonna more tutorials with flags? Check this masking vitorial:

  1. How to create patriotic heart with grunge texture in Adobe Illustrator.

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