Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flag Fun

Hi Everyone,

I'm almost done with the initial list of patriotic quilts that I wanted to make during this 39 days of Patriotism, but I have a few more in mind, if I have time.  I'm running low on some of my favorite red fabrics so I may have to do a bit of shopping to replenish the stash!

Last week when I showed  you the finds that came home with me from the antique shops, I mentioned how I had found 49 star flags and didn't know they were prevalent.  After posting the blog, I went and rounded up all the vintage flags that I have that I assumed were 50 star flags and examined them. 

This is the star field for a 48 star flag.  It has 6 rows of 8 stars in a grid pattern.  The grid pattern makes them very easy to spot.
This is a modern, 50 star flag.  The stars are in alternate rows of 6 and 5.  There are 5 rows of 6 (30)and four rows of 5 (20)  The stars are not in a regular pattern, but appear more diagonally arranged.

And this is the field for a 49 star flag.  It has 7 rows of 7 stars, but instead of being regularly placed, like the 48 star flag, they are alternated for the diagonal look of a modern flag.  So at a quick glance, most people would assume that it is a 50 star flag.  Hence my confusion.  I think the arrangement makes it look like there are missing stars.
I did a little check on history, and when Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959, the first 49 star flag was made and flown over Independence Hall in Philadelphia on 4 July, 1959.  It was only official for one year when, after the admittance of Hawaii, the 50 star flag was first flown 4 July, 1960. 
There is occasional talk about Puerto Rico or another protectorate of the US becoming a 51st state.  I wonder how they would arrange the stars then?

The good news is that while looking through all my flags, I found a 49 star!  I was thrilled.  When my husband came home from work, I announced that I had something really exciting to show him.  I don't think a 49 star flag was what he was expecting or hoping for!

We spent a quiet weekend just hanging around the house.  After our trip, that was what we both were happy doing.  I spent some time in the sewing room, though, and have things to show later. 

Have a great day!


  1. If they do decide to add another State, I am sure you would be the perfect candidate to be on the committee - thanks for all the historic star info - I love learning new things.

  2. Amazing how adding one star changed the look of the flag! Very interesting

  3. How cool that you found out you already owned one! I would guess that they are pretty rare.

  4. My understanding is that 49 star flags are rare. Living in a Alaska I would love to find one. Anyone who has one up here keeps it tucked away as a treasure.

  5. Very interesting, I don't think I have ever seen the 49 star American flag. Thanks for the lesson.