United States Politics and Law

United States Politics and Law

National symbols

The national flag was adopted in its original form in 1775, in 1777 the British Union Jack in the Obereck was replaced by a blue field with 13 stars arranged in a circle. The flag went through numerous other changes, the current national flag (Stars and Stripes) is the 37th, the last change was in 1960 when another star for Hawaii was added to the flag. The last legal stipulation was the Flag Act of June 14, 1977. The flag is horizontally divided into 13 alternating red and white stripes (7 red, 6 white), which stand for the founding states of the USA. In the blue upper corner there are 50 stars, one for each state.

The coat of arms was adopted on June 20, 1782. It shows a naturally colored bald eagle with a yellow ribbon in its beak with the motto “e pluribus unum” (one of several). The 13 leaves of the olive branch and the 13 arrows in its claws symbolize the founding states of the nation, as do the 13 stars in the upper coat of arms, surrounded by a golden halo and a band of white clouds. The olive branch and the bundle of arrows represent the decision-making power of Congress over war and peace. The eagle wears a shield on its chest which, as a modification of the flag, has alternating silver and red vertical stripes under the blue head of the shield.

The national holiday on July 4th commemorates the declaration of independence in 1776 (Independence Day).


The US traditionally has a two-party system, supported by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party; other parties have a subordinate, mostly only local or regional importance. In contrast to the European parties, the American parties are not member and program parties, but rather voter parties that are mainly financed by donations, are connected to large interest groups and use volunteers to mobilize people in election campaigns. Your full-time machine is small. Until the end of the 1990s, progressive, moderate and conservative politicians were to be found in both parties. The Democrats were more state-interventionist and oriented towards the welfare state, while the Republicans were seen as conservative and business-friendly. For two decades, however, ideological conflicts have intensified. Grassroots and populist movements played a roleCurrents against the “establishment” play a major role, with the Republicans the tea party movement.


According to andyeducation, the umbrella organization American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has 55 individual unions (2017) with around 12.5 million members. The Change To Win alliance (founded in 2005 as a new umbrella organization) includes (2017) 4 individual trade unions with 5 million members. Overall, only 10.7% of the civilian workforce are unionized.


The total strength of the volunteer army (2017) is around 1.35 million soldiers (excluding members of the National Guard). As a nuclear power with strategic weapons and because of its military potential and its high military technological standards, the USA occupies a prominent position within NATO.

The strongest armed force is the Army (US Army) with around 562,000 soldiers. It is essentially divided into six mechanized divisions, two light infantry divisions and one airborne and one air assault division each; There are also six artillery and five army aviation brigades, one independent infantry and one airborne brigade each, and three tank reconnaissance regiments. The active army forces are supplemented by the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard (each around 350,000 men).

The Navy (US Navy), including naval aviators, has around 320,000 soldiers on active duty. The main combat units are 11 aircraft carriers, 22 cruisers, 62 destroyers, 26 frigates, 14 strategic submarines (equipped with ICBMs) and 58 conventional submarines (almost exclusively nuclear-powered). With its 32 larger DropShips, the Navy also has the capability to conduct amphibious operations. The naval aviators (around 100,000 soldiers) are of great importance for the operational capability of the naval forces. The naval forces are supplemented by around 110,000 members of the Navy Reserve. The responsibility for coastal protection in the narrower sense rests with the Coast Guard, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Transport in peacetime and to the Navy in war. Its approximately 43,000 soldiers are equipped with frigates and small combat ships.

The Air Force (US Air Force) has about 330,000 active-duty soldiers and has about 3,000 combat aircraft. The long-range bombers armed with nuclear cruise missiles are part of the US strategic armed forces. The Air Force also has strategic reconnaissance planes and tanker planes. The ICBMs, which are part of the strategic nuclear weapons potential, are also operated by Air Force personnel. The air force is supplemented by the Air National Guard (around 110,000 soldiers) with around 600 combat aircraft and the Air Force Reserve (around 75,000 soldiers), the v. a. is equipped with training, transport and other support aircraft.

The Marine Corps, the fourth branch of the armed forces, has around 200,000 members (around 40,000 more in reserve). As a largely independently operating structure, it has its own land component with heavy weapons (three divisions with around 400 battle tanks) and three mixed air squadrons with around 300 combat aircraft.

United States Politics