Number 51

Originally posted July 5, 2011, edited June 25, 2017


Yesterday, we, as a nation, celebrated our 235th birthday. Through this short, but wonderful history we have seen our national banner/flag change. We have seen our country divided, celebrate our bicentennial, but for all of my life the flag has had 50 stars.

This past Sunday, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle: Puerto Rico gain as a state could be loss for Texas. Along with considering the facts laid out in the article, I began to think what this would mean for our country’s flag. To help celebrate the 4th of July weekend I proudly hung the flag from my apartment balcony.  As it gently moved with the wind, I realized that if we were to add only one state, the design of our flag would once again have to be reconsidered. 

Over the next hour or so, I quickly created a solution that included 51 stars, each representing a single state in the union and one central larger star to represent a the Union itself. The single star, however, is a lighter blue to symbolize that without the states the country we call the United States would not exist.

I used the circle form from the bicentennial flag to help organize the 51 stars as is works much better with odd numbers than does the current arrangement. There are 24 stars on the outer band, 16 on the middle and 11 on the inner most circle. The blue field has grown in size taking up about half of the entire flags area. A single vertical white bar has been added as padding between the blue and red stripes—the number of which did not change. 

My design is certainly more traditional and pulls from elements from the flags of our past, it could very well use refinement. How would you redesign our nation’s flag if the country adds a new state?