According to the Encyclopedia Americana, George Washington explained the American flag this way:
The stars were taken from Heaven, the red from England and the White stripes were added to indicate a separation from the mother country. Stars have long been used to denote domination and sovereignty and are ancient symbols of Egypt, India and Persia.
The blue stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice. The red if hardiness and valor and the white means purity and innocence.
There are thirteen stripes, red and white which stand for the original thirteen colonies who fought and won our freedom and birthed our nation. There are fifty white stars lying on a field of blue; one for each of the states in the U.S. today.
The flag always hangs with the blue in the upper left regardless of whether it is hung in a portrait or landscape fashion.
The "Tae Kook Gye" is the Korean Flag. "Tae Kook" means "the origin of all things in the universe."
The circle in the center of the flag is divided into portions of red and blue by a horizontal "S". These red (top) and blue (bottom) portions symbolize the Um and Yang theory of eternal duality which exists within nature. (i.e.; heaven-earth, light-dark, hot-cold). In science this theory can be represented with the symbols "+" and "-".
The four "gye" (bar design) in the corner of the flag are based on the Um and Yang principal of light and darkness. The locale of these gye represent the four points of the compass. Ee-gye (lower left) indicated dawn and early sunlight as the sun rises in the east. Kun-gye (upper left) represents the bright sunshine when the sun is in the south. Kam-gye (upper right) represents twilight as the sun moved to the west. And Kon-gye (lower right) indicated total darkness when the sun is in the north. Together these symbols express the mysteries of the universe.
The flag always hangs with the red on top when hanging in landscape fashion and with blue on the left side of the circle when hanging in portrait fashion.
Before we were the ATA, we were known as the Midwest Karate Federation, or MKF. This is the original patch that was designed by Grand Master Richard Reed, Eternal Grand Master's friend and one of his first students.
We officially became the American Taekwondo Association in 1969, and the letters on Grand Master Richard Reed's original patch design were changed to ATA.
In 1984, the Songahm Taekwondo Federation (STF) was founded by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee and Master Cezar Ozuna to help spread Songahm Taekwondo outside of the United States.
In the fall of 1990, the World Traditional Taekwondo Union (WTTU) was formed.
While the ATA encompassed licensed locations in the United States and Canada, the STF included licensed locations in South America and the WTTU covered the remaining portion of the world.
In 2014 all three international branches were brought together under the ATA name. The acronym's meaning was changed to Always Take Action and a new patch was designed incorporating parts of the design from all 3 patches. Students around the world now all belong to ATA.