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U.S. 51-star proposals

Last modified: 2015-04-25 by rick wyatt
Keywords: fifty-one | proposal | united states |
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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

 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 (below) that I forwarded to them.
Clay Moss, 2 March 2007

Variant Design Proposals

I only have one complaint against the 9-8-9-8-9-8 pattern, but I believe my complaint is significant. A 9-8-9-8-9-8 pattern of stars, while being suitable for a 10:19 US government flag or ensign, will not fit aesthetically onto a 2:3 US flag. All US civil flags are produced in three ratios, those being 2:3, 5:8, and 3:5 with the 2:3 ratio representing the majority of US flags manufactured for civil consumption.

[U.S. 51 star flag (future)] image by Clay Moss, 2 March 2007

While the pattern is a bit tight but OK on the 10:19 flag, there is too much space between rows of stars on the 2:3 flag. Plus, a manufacturer would have to make each star pretty small in order to squeeze 9 stars into the odd rows.

I propose the following possibilities:

[U.S. 51 star flag (future)]  [U.S. 51 star flag (future)] images by Clay Moss, 2 March 2007

These two images have only a maximum of 8 stars in any row, plus there is an added 7th row of stars, giving the pattern better spread and balance on the 2:3 pattern.

At the end of the day, a pattern of 9 stars horizontally by 6 rows or stars vertically simply won't accommodate the wide variety of ratios in which US flags are manufactured. 8 stars horizontally by 7 rows vertically offers much more flexibility.
Clay Moss, 2 March 2007