Yesterday was American Flag Day. I meant to say a word or two.

The order of my posts is off a bit this week. I had wanted to say something about American Flag Day (June 14).

As you know, there is a segment of the county that goes crazy about the flag. I myself happen to be a fan of it, although I think it gets used too much in partisan politics, and has for the last 40 years, or so.

Did you know, that it wasn’t until the American Civil War that regular flag-waving became a habit among the people? And even there, it was the people in the North! (American flag wiki)

The flag didn’t routinely appear on a postage stamp until one of the four-cent series in 1957?

A mathematician actually figured out a program to show how the stars might appear for any combination of states from 1 to 100. Only a very few totals (like 29) cannot be shown in one of the common patterns that have been used by the United States for its field. The [usual] talk is about what a 51-star flag would look like if Puerto Rico joined the Union. I don’t think there ever would be allowed 51 states, because it might shift the balance of the two parties in Congress. People should worry about a 52-star flag.

Did you know that the start of Gomer Pyle USMC has a 49-star flag, even though the show ran after Hawaii became a state? Check it out for yourself, right around the six-second mark:

(Click to enlarge)

See? It’s true. That’s a 49-star flag, only used for one year (July 4, 1959 to July 4, 1960). It is a pattern of seven rows of seven stars, with the alternating rows offset.

The 50-star flag became the longest used sometime in the last couple years. The fellow who designed it was an Ohio high school student who received a “B-” for the project. Sometime later, he submitted the design to Washington, and the president or another big official went with the design. The teacher promised to change his grade to “A” if it ever was accepted. I think the student’s name was Bob Heft, and before he passed away, he was known to go around the country by invitation, speaking about the flag.

The American flag was pretty radical when it came on the scene in the 1770’s, and still stands out among the field of flags today. It even continues to wave on the moon!

Long may the things that it stands for endure.