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49 Star Flag - (1959-1960) (U.S.)

Last modified: 2015-01-10 by rick wyatt
Keywords: forty-nine | united states |
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[U.S. 49 star flag 1959] image by Clay Moss, 1 February 2007



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Description of the flag

In 1959, one star was added, representing Alaska, bringing the total number of stars to 49. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.
Rick Wyatt, 5 April 1998

This flag flew from 4 July, 1959, to 3 July, 1960. The 49 star series became official when Alaska was admitted to the Union.
Clay Moss, 1 February 2007

Although the 49 star flag first became valid at 4 July 1959, it apparently was prepared beforehand, in 1958, and was made public as soon as the proclamation was signed on 2 January 1959:

  • At www.alaskastock.com is an image of the Anchorage Daily News front page for Monday, 30 June 1958, immediately after the United States' Congress approved the Alaska Statehood Act. They use a (grey) 49-star Stars & Stripes as the background for the Front Page, but one with a pattern of 7 straight rows of 7 stars each.
  • At vilda.alaska.edu is an image of the Anchorage Daily Times front page for 3 ?] January 1959, reporting the signing of the Alaska Proclamation, which has made Alaska the 49th state. Below the main articles a smaller headline reads: "Ike Unfurls New 49-Star Flag".
  • At www.eisenhower.archives.gov are photographs of the signing of the Alaska Proclamation and the unfurling of the new flag, with 49 stars in staggered rows.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 24 September 2009


Jack

[U.S. 49 star jack 1959] image by Clay Moss, 1 February 2007


7x7 Star variant flag

[U.S. 49 star flag 1959] image by Clay Moss, 27 February 2007

A 4x6 foot version of us~49-2 hung on the wall in the church room where my Boy Scout troop met. Over the years, I stared and stared at this flag knowing something wasn't quite right with it. It looked like every other "48" star flag that was out there, but I just couldn't put my finger on the problem. Then one day during a very dull meeting, I looked away from the speaker and stared at the flag in boredom. "EUREKA! There it is! 49 stars and all!" I thought to myself. I was so absorbed in the moment, that I started laughing out loud. This got me in a bit of trouble as the speaker was talking on the subject of respect.

I have always wondered what happened to that flag, and have also wondered who made it and when. I suspect that they were anticipating the admission of Alaska to the union and made the flag before the "official" version was introduced.
Clay Moss, 27 February 2007