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Bake and cool cake completely. Position on a foil-wrapped cake board cut to pan shape.
Prepare icing and tint 1/2 cup blue and 3/4 cup red; reserve 3 1/4 cups white (thin 1 3/4 cups with 1 teaspoon light corn syrup). Ice cake sides smooth and lightly ice cake top with thinned white icing and spatula.
Using toothpick, mark 7/8 in. wide striped areas and blue field on cake top.
Pipe stars with tip 18: use red icing in red stripe areas, white icing in white stripe areas.
Fill in blue field with stars using tip 18 and blue icing. Use tip 18 and white icing to pipe stars on blue background.
Use tip 21 and white icing to pipe star bottom border.
The star tip creates the most celebrated, easily accomplished decorations, making the star fill-in technique a perfect option for a beginner’s project.