ActionScript (AS) is the language used to develop Flash applications. There are 3 versions of ActionScript - ActionScript 1, ActionScript 2 and ActionScript 3 (Known as AS1, AS2, and AS3).
To make flash objects you need Adobe Flash, which is not free, the newest version (CS4(10.0)) costs up to 699$!
Graphics are a very important part in Flash, if not the most. You can make a flash object without using any code.
Flash uses vector graphics which can be made inside the program itself. It is also possible to insert pictures.
For some good tutorials on Flash visit Emanuele Feronato