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The USA 48, 49 and 50 star Flags.

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
edited April 2012 in Collecting
I posted this on Bricklink today, but thought I would share it here as well.

The real USA Flags...

From 1959-60 the United States had 2 new states that entered the Union... Alaska,
our 49th state (in Jan. 1959), and Hawaii, our 50th state (in Sept. 1959). Alaska's
49th star was added immediately in Jan. 1959 to the official US flag. Hawaii's
50th star was delayed by 10 months... maybe for the USA to get rid of all the
49 star US flags in inventories. (They shipped them all up to Alaska!)

So the 50th star was added officially on July 4, 1960. The 48 star flag was
used from 1912 (when New Mexico and Arizona became states) until 1959. The 49
star flag was used from January 1959 until July 1960. And of course the 50 star
flag is still in use today.

Now as to LEGO flags...

LEGO flags were introduced in November of 1957. The first USA flags had 48 stars...
6 columns of 8 stars. Whether or not a 49 star USA LEGO flag was produced is not
certain. But LEGO artwork showing one has been spotted (although the LEGO folks
were NOT aware of the exact star positioning of that flag... see first image below).
But no actual 49 star flags have ever been found. If they were produced, they would
be considered rare.

The last image shows the 48, 49 and 50 star official USA flag star positioning.
So if you want to check your old USA LEGO flags... here's an easy way to compare
without counting stars.

These images are from Chapter 47 of my new LEGO DVD.

Cheers,
Gary Istok

P.S. One last thing... it seems likely that if there are any 49 star LEGO flags out there...
they would likely be found in continental Europe, or Britain/Ireland.

Comments

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    edited April 2012
    Also, for those not familiar with the history of the American flag... the flag of the first 13 states (former colonies) used a flag field with a circle of 13 stars. Later as more states were added to the union, more stars were added. But (like with Hawaii) it was not always an automatic thing to have stars added in a particular year for new states. Sometimes it took a few years for a new official flag to be announced...

    Since I live on the outskirts of Detroit in Michigan... when Michigan became the 26th state in 1837 (only state that year)... the USA officially switched to a 26 star flag that January. This "Michigan flag" was used for 8 years... until the next states were added (2 states) in 1845... Florida and Texas (in January and December respectively).

    So during the 19th century... there are some odd looking star fields on some of the American flag during that century. As far as I know... no other world flag has had so many official version.

    Cheers,
    Gary Istok

    P.S. These images are found in Chapter 47 of my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide (1949-90s) now on DVD in my Bricklink store. Try as I might... I found no justification for adding the Michigan flag to this chapter! ;-)
  • jadedancjadedanc USAMember Posts: 1,303
    LOVE your history lessons every time you post @Istokg :)
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