100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

US Flag Design Standardized By Executive Order

Aside from basic design stars, bars and colors, there have been no set guidelines as to size or layout of a US flag. Most designs agree to 13 stripes but a variety of groupings of stars exists. In November 1907 Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state. On July 4, 1908 (all US flag changes have occurred on July 4th since 1819) the 46 star flag was adopted. Most use varying rows of seven and eight stars but their placement is up to the individual flag-maker. No flag is ever obsolete. It is legal to fly as a US flag at any time no matter how many stars it has on it. The has led a a vast array of different designs for the US flag.

In January 1912 New Mexico became our 47th state. 47-star flags began to appear in or near New Mexico made by people who wanted to demonstrate their pride in gaining statehood. Since they are unofficial, these local flag makers use their own design such as staggered rows of 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, and 7 stars.

The 47 star US flag

In February 1912 Arizona became out 48th state. Again, a free-for-all of designs began to appear. A committee was set up chaired by former US Admiral George Dewey to come up with a standardization for the new 48-star flag before July 4th.

On June 24, 1912 president William Howard Taft ended the confusion by implementing the first specific regulations governing the proportions and design of the flag of the United States by the signing of Executive Order 1566. The new 48 star flag will be arranged in 6 rows of 8 stars each.

The new standard 48 star US flag


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