Saturday, December 12, 2009

Creator of 50-star American flag dies at 67

Robert G. Heft, who is credited with designing and sewing the first 50-star American flag, has died in Saginaw, Michigan at 67.

We hardly think about it but the arrangement of 50 stars on the flag is quite elegant and ingenious. It has 5 rows of six stars alternating with 4 rows of 5 stars arranged in such a way that they line up at diagonal and the sides of the stars form straight lines.

Heft made the flag in 1958 as a student as part of a high school history project in Lancaster, Ohio. He spent more than 12 hours sewing the design on his mother's Singer sewing machine. President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Heft's design to replace the 48-star flag and invited Heft to Washington for its unveiling. Alaska and Hawaii were added as states so quickly that Heft guessed there would be a need for a 50 star flag when there were still only 49 states.

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