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51 Star Flag - (future) (U.S.)

Last modified: 2019-08-01 by rick wyatt
Keywords: fifty-one | united states | puerto rico | washington dc | district of columbia |
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[U.S. 51 star flag (future)] image by Clay Moss, 2 March 2007

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Description of the flag

The 51 star flag is already commercially available and has been sold variously to proponents of statehood in Washington DC, California, Michigan, New York City, Texas, Nebraska, Canada and the Philippines. Also, preliminary designs exist for up to 56 star flags using a similar staggered star arrangement having already been prepared by the U.S. Govt.'s Institute of Heraldry. For a great article on the subject see "New Stars for Old Glory", National Geographic Magazine, July 1959 [aik59].
James J. Ferrigan III, 4 October 1998

 I contacted the US Army's Institute of Heraldry to get verification on some of the past US flag designs. While I was at it, I asked them to send me specifications for the future 51 star flag, (the 9-8-9-8-9-8 pattern) as I had been made aware that they has this information on file. First, I wanted to draw it as close as possible for FOTW. Also, I wanted to know to whom I should send a letter of concern as the 9-8-9-8-9-8 pattern possibility is a collectively poor one from a vexillographic perspective.

To my surprise, they said that they had no particular future flag on the table to present in the event that a 51st state was admitted to the Union. When I wrote back to say that the vexillological universe thought it would be the 9-8-9-8-9-8 pattern, they again reiterated that it simply wasn't true. They did say that the 9-8-9-8-9-8 pattern had been submitted "by civilians" for consideration among others, but it was certainly not on the table as THE pattern. They then invited me to post some other ideas. So, I prepared alternative ideas that I forwarded to them.
Clay Moss, 2 March 2007

A Version Used By Puerto Rico Statehood Movement

[U.S. 51 star flag (future) used by Puerto Rico Statehood Movement] image by Victor Quiñones, 20 September 2000

This is the 51 star version of the United States flag commonly used by the Puerto Rican Statehood Movement. I don't know who designed it, but it has been popular among statehood supporters in the island for as long as I can remember.
Victor Quiñones, 20 September 2000

It’s an otherwise unmodified U.S. national flag with 51 white stars on the canton arranged in a fivefold pattern with 5 lines of four stars limiting five sectors each containing 6 stars, the whole forming a sort of disc, also describable as four concentric rings of stars around a central one, with respectively 5, 10, 15, and 20 stars. This design subscribes to the tradition of U.S. flags with rings of stars, initiated by Betsy Ross, as the legend goes.

Who rules on the design?

The General Services Administration, an independent agency of the US Government, used to be responsible for national government properties, supplies and obscurely enough declares US Constitutional Amendments as being adopted (at one time at least), but not any more. GSA had that responsibility because it was once the parent agency for the National Archives. But the National Archives and Records Administration is now an independent organization, and state resolutions of ratification would now be sent to NARA.
Joe McMillan, 5 March 2007