Thursday, June 14, 2012
Today is Flag Day
Today, June 14th, is Flag Day in the United States. I blogged about it two years ago and you can read that post here. Or you can read what Wikipedia has to say. Or you can decide to skip them altogether. It’s really up to you. That is what freedom is all about.
The first American flag had 13 white stars (representing the original 13 colonies) in a circle on a blue field, and 13 stripes, alternating red and white. After Vermont and Kentucky entered the union, the flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes, but people with foresight could see what was coming and settled on 13 as the permanent number of stripes. Only the number of stars changed as more states were added. Since 1959, when both Alaska and Hawaii were added to the union,* there have been 50 states. The current U.S. flag contains five rows of six stars (30) interleaved with four rows of five stars (20).
If Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C., or Guam or some other place ever becomes the 51st state, another star will be added. Can you think of an orderly pattern that would contain 51 stars?
The only one I can come up with besides three rows of 17, which would look ridiculous, is three rows of nine (27) and three rows of eight (24). Oh, and there’s also five rows of seven (35) and four rows of four (16). And there’s....
We have to be ready for any eventuality. I mean, what if we annexed all the provinces of Canada?
* [Editor’s note. Many in Hawaii continue to be less than thrilled. --RWP]