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A Grand Old Flag

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Among the family of patriotic holidays, Independence Day’s “younger sibling”—Flag Day—arrives on the calendar roughly three weeks before we celebrate our nation’s birth.

The June edition of the Library of Congress’s “Wise Guide” launched today, just in time to salute the Stars and Stripes—figuratively, if not literally. From the text:

Did you know that the current American flag was a result of a school project? Can you believe that the resulting grade on the project was only a B minus? In 1958, high school student Robert G. Heft of Lancaster, Ohio, was spurred on by his interest in politics and talk of Alaska and Hawaii becoming states to design a 50-star flag as a school project. His teacher, Stanley Pratt, gave him a B minus on the project, describing it as unoriginal. However, he would grant Heft a higher grade if Congress accepted the design. Thanks to the late congressman Walter Moeller, Heft earned his gold star when the design was accepted in 1960.

No, I didn’t know—but I do now!

Happy Flag Day, everyone!

Comments (6)

  1. Happy Flag Day!

  2. Very cool history lesson. Who wouldve known

  3. Really? The American flag was made because of a school project? I didn’t know that! Cool! And to think that it just merited a B minus. I certainly think that it deserves more than just that. Robert G. Heft was sure lucky to have the Congress approve his design. It’s such an honor for him, especially since he was just a high school student at that time. I wonder if his teacher changed his grade, though. After all, the design was approved approximately two years after he submitted it in class.

  4. An interesting history lesson, especially being Hawaiian. (Yes, Hawaii is one of the 50 states…!) However, it still amazes me how little Hawaiian history we learn as US citizens. It also amazes me just how much of our US History comes from totally accidental occurrences like this one.

  5. Stanley PRatt was my great uncle, I didn’t know him well, but, he retired from teaching and then became a lawyer till he died at I think the age of 98.

  6. LOL! Stanley Pratt is my husband’s great uncle. I met him several times, but he did not tell this story on himself. We read it in a newspaper.

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