The U.S. Flag in the 1950’s


Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every week.

Hi folks, for the 4th of July, we’re going to have a look at what the American Flag was like back in the 1950’s.

As you know, the American Flag changed several times since it was first stitched by Betsy Ross in 1776. As the United States began to grow, a new star was added to the flag to represent each new state. It might not be thought about much, but in the 1950s, the flag was not the same one as we have today!

At first glance, there really isn’t much of a difference. You can’t exactly tell that there are only 48 stars and not 50, unless you count them. The 48-star Flag was issued in 1912 when New Mexico became the 47th state (January 6, 1912) and Arizona became the 48th state (February 14, 1912). The 48-star Flag flew for a total of 47 years, which included almost the entire decade of 1950’s. It looked like this:

48 Star Flag (1912-1959)

But did you know that in the 1950’s, there were actually two American Flags? I must admit, that up until now, I didn’t!

On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state. It was then that the U.S. Flag added and additional 49th star to represent Alaska. So for the final year of the 1950’s, the Flag looked like this:

49 Star Flag (1959)

But the 49-star flag only lasted that one year! On August 21, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state. And on July 4, 1960, the United States officially raised the longest flying flag to date, our current 50-star Flag. It looks like this:

50 Star flag (1960-now)

So how many flags did the United States have in the 1950’s?

Two.

And how many stars did the United States Flag have in the 1950’s?

48 (1950-1959) and 49 (1959)

Now you’re ready for Jeopardy!

Happy 4th, my fellow Americans.

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