The 50 Star Flag of the United States
The 50 star flag becomes our official flag on July 4, 1960 recognizing the admission of Hawaii to the Union. The movement to statehood starts in 1912 by which time both Alaska and Hawaii are official U S territories. Beginning in 1916 both territories apply year after year for admission to the Union. By 1959 it appeared that only Alaska would become a State. While flag makers were busy designing a 49 star flag, Bob Heft, a 17 year old high school student in Ohio, decided to design a 50 star flag.
Wise beyond his years, he was certain that since Alaska was a Democratic state and Eisenhower a Republican President, Eisenhower would be willing to admit the Republican leaning state of Hawaii. He added l00 stars (50 on each side) to an old 48 star flag and handed the project in to his history teacher, Stanley Pratt. Mr. Pratt commented that if Heft's design was accepted by Congress his grade would change from a B- to an A. Heft accepted the challenge and sent it first to Ohio's governor and then to his representative in Congress, Walter Henry Moeller. Heft asked Moeller to store the flag until the 50 star design was needed. In August of 1959 President Eisenhower signed a proclamation adding Hawaii to the Union. Heft's flag was then brought to the design committee by Congressman Moeller. On July 4, 1960 Heft and Eisenhower stood together in Washington to watch the first 50 star flag unfurled. (And Bob Heft did receive his A grade in History.) poem on the back of one of the letters he has carried with him.