Flags of the United States: Twenty-Seventh U.S. Flag,
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Flags of the United States: Twenty-Seventh U.S. Flag,


By Jon R. Warren

The admission of Hawaii as the fiftieth state was recognized by a new fifty-star flag on July 4, 1960. This is the current United states flag. Like its two immediate predecessors, this flag's design and proportion are fixed by law.

The most dramatic use of the fifty-star flag has been in America's space explorations. Although rocketry was intensively developed in Germany during the second World War and in the United States after the war, the first man-made satellite was launched into orbit by the Soviet Union in 1957. Reacting to this Soviet feat, the United States began planing its own space explorations. The first Americans satellite was launched on January 31, 1958. On May 5, 1961, the first manned space flight was made by the United States. By the middle of the 1960s, both the United States and the Soviet Union were regularly sending manned satelites around the earth.

On July 16, 1969, the apollo ll mission was launched, bound for the moon. On July 20, at 4:17 p.m E.S.T., after a trip of approximately 103 hours, a small rocket known as a LEM set down on the surface of the moon. At 10:56 p.m E.S.T., Neil Armstrong, captain of the mission, became the first man to set foot on the lunar surface. He was watched by millions of viewers who witnessed the event on television.

One of the objects planted on the moon was Old Glory. The three-foot by five-foot banner made of nylon was attached to an eight-foot aluminum pole. Since there is no air on the moon to make the flag wave, the upper edge was lined with tubing, so that the flag could unfurl. That flag was left on the moon, but two other American flags, the flags of 140 foreign nations, the United Nations flag, flags of the fifty states and the District of Columbia and the flags of the territories of the United states were al returned to earth to be distributed to the appropriate governments. But old Glory is still on the moon's surface, a symbol of American ingebuity and man's imagination.

The twenty-seven United States flags that have flown over the nation throughout its history have recorded America's growth and progress. The star spangled Banner may be only a symbol, but it has special meaning to generations of Americans. Whereever it flies, it represents the strength and integrity of a great nation that has grown with such vigor that in the brief span of less than 200 years it has become a dominal world power.

This article has been read 4464 times. Last read on 1/16/2021 7:40:51 PM

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