Fireworks, hot dogs and American flags. What did you put on page one today?

Here’s a look at today’s five best Independence Day-themed front pages, as found in the daily archive at the Newseum.

#5

KANSAS CITY STAR

Kansas City, Mo.

Circulation: 200,365

In the category of kids running back flags, this wonderful centerpiece photo by staffer Keith Myers gives a wonderful red, white and blue effect to the front page of the Kansas City Star. Especially when you take into account the Star’s blue nameplate.

The red, white and blue baseball skybox just adds to the effect.

#4

GAZETTE

Charleston, W.Va.

Circulation: 35,621

Lots of papers led today with fireworks pictures shot locally Tuesday night. Some papers ran them downpage. A few ran them up top, above the nameplate.

My favorite of the batch was this one from Charleston, W.Va.

The picture was by staffer Lawrence Pierce.

That’s twice this week that the Gazette has appeared here in the blog. Somebody there is doing some awfully good work.

A close runner-up is this fireworks-themed poster-front from the Los Angeles Daily News.

The picture is from Getty Images.

Average daily circulation for the Daily News is 94,016.

#3

NEWS JOURNAL

Pensacola, Fla.

Circulation: 40,435

Today’s lead story was a brief essay by staff editorial cartoonist Andy Marlette , answering the question: How Do You Draw a Patriot?

How better to illustrate that kind of a topic than with an illustration by Andy himself?

Andy cites plenty of examples of Patriotism from his own family. For example, he writes about his…

…great grandmother, who in 1934 was stabbed by a bayonet of a National Guardsman sent in to put a stop to a labor uprising at a sweatshop of a textile mill in Burlington, N.C.. Her crime? Singing in protest; speech. Sometimes the patriot is attacked by the very country she cries out for.

Find Andy’s essay here.

#2

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Indianapolis, Ind.

Circulation: 164,640

The Indianapolis Star today asked its readers to share their vision for America. Staffer Janet Schneider placed the replies and mug shots atop a textured flag illustration.

#1

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

But today’s very best Independence Day front page is from the Orange County Register, which turned this gorgeous Getty image into a poster front that truly makes you want to stand at attention.

The Register also designed last year’s best Independence Day page as well — this one from July 3, 2011:

That one was built around an iStock Photo image. Read more about it here.

Go here to see more July Fourth pages from last year.

All of these pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

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