If I got what you mean...it should be relatively easy:
1) Have the American Flag on its own layer
2)create a type layer right underneath the American Flag Layer
3)Select the American Flag Layer
4) Go to the application menù, choose LAYER>CREATE CLIPPING MASK
4.b) You could simply alt-click the space between the American Flag layer and the type layer.
I hope that this is what you were looking for...
Let me know if you need further help
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!