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The Daily Flag News—June 12, 2007

Bob Heft designed the 50 star flag. The story I never knew, started forty-seven years ago, with the admission of Hawaii into the United States. What a great story.

American Flag Designer Marks Independence Day Milestone
bobheft.jpgAmerica’s current 50-star flag, designed by Bob Heft, will become the longest-serving flag in United States history on July 4, 2007, at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The flag will have served its country for 47 years and one minute, breaking the current record of 47 years held by the 48-star flag (July 4, 1912, through July 4, 1959).

Bob Heft’s flag became the official United States flag on July 4, 1960, at 12:01 a.m. EST. He designed the flag for a history class project as a 17-year-old high school junior at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio, in 1958. Alaska anticipated admittance to the Union at that time as the 49th state.

Heft’s teacher, Stanley Pratt, asked, “Why would anyone make a 50-star flag?” and gave the junior a B- on the project. When Heft challenged the grade, Pratt told him, “Get your flag accepted in Washington and I might raise your grade.” Before long, Hawaii received statehood and a 50-star flag was needed. Heft’s flag was accepted. Only after young Heft returned from the Washington, D.C. flag ceremony did Pratt raise his grade to an A.

Shetland Flag

Shetland Flag

Yesterday the Philippines, today the Shetlands. Yesterday I referenced a story about the Philippines celebrating their 109th Flag Day, and today’s story is of the inaugural Flag Day for the Shetland Islands. The Shetland flag, a white cross on a blue backgound, was designed in 1969 by Lerwick man Roy Grönneberg to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the handing of Shetland over to the Scottish crown by the King of Norway and Denmark. It combines the Scottish colors with the Scandinavian cross.

Shetland Today: Shetland Times Online News Feature
FOR the first time ever Midsummer Day on 21st June is being recognised as Shetland Flag Day, with everyone encouraged to fly the isles’ emblem.

The day will coincide with the beginning of Flavour of Shetland, making it a real cause for celebration.

Renowned flag expert and author of Flags of the World, Jos Poels, will deliver an illustrated short presentation on flags at the new Shetland Museum and Archives. The talk will have a particular focus on Scandinavian flags and the Shetland flag.

shetland-today-fly-flag.jpgSIC principal marketing officer Neil Henderson said: “The Shetland flag was designed in 1969 and in February 2005 was officially sanctioned by the Court of the Lord Lyon as a community flag for the islands.

“We hope that Shetland Flag Day will become an important date on everyone’s calendar and that the day gives everyone a real reason to celebrate all things Shetland.

Don’t you love stories where veterans tell their stories? I do. I’m pleased that 90-year-old Ben Dunn is still around to tell his during Flag Week.

:: – The Southern Illinoisan ::
the-southern-gets-patriotic.jpgMURPHYSBORO – Ben Dunn of Murphysboro enlisted in the military in 1941. He learned his artillery regiment would be headed to the Philippines, but there would first be a stop in Hawaii.

Eight days after Dunn’s ship sailed from Pearl Harbor, the U.S. military base was bombed by Japanese soldiers.

The turmoil did not end there. Dunn’s regiment never completed its journey to the island nation. The Philippines also had come under attack, so the regiment rerouted to Australia and Java, known today as Indonesia.

While Dunn’s regiment was in Java, the island was surrendered to the Japanese. The 24-year-old Dunn spent the next three and a half years of his life as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Dunn, now 90, will be delivering the patriotic address at Murphysboro’s Flag Day ceremony Saturday. Dunn said he usually does not enjoy public speaking.

Today’s history lesson is about John A. Quitman a participant in the Mexican American wars. There are more pictures on the website along with further details about Quitman’s life.

History Is Elementary: John A. Quitman: From the Halls of Montezuma
quitman.jpgJohn A. Quitman is one of those American citizens who left his footprints across many different aspects of United States history, however, very few people today know his name.

He’s the type of man from the early 1800s whose life can be used to teach backcountry settlement, planter philosophy, and political machinations from Manifest Destiny through the election of James Buchanan. Those machinations include a rabid belief in state’s rights, the annexation of Cuba, and Congressional actions during the mid-1850s…a very turbulent time.

Quitman began life in New York and, after settling on a law career he headed to Natchez, Mississippi along with his friend John McMurran to see what the richest city in America had to offer two young blades. He quickly joined many different men’s organizations including groups against dueling and gambling. He and McMurran both married into the very wealthy Turner family by wedding sisters.

Indiana recently held a contest where the state citizens pick the design of their new license plate. Now it is the people of South Carolina that can do the same. The picture on their website opens to show larger versions of each of the possible winners. Which do you like?

The State | 06/09/2007 | You can vote for the state’s next license plate
south-carolina-license-plates.jpgKaren Nelson of Gilbert works as a designer for Eagle Aviation.

But her latest design could grace the bumpers of all S.C. drivers’ cars if residents vote for her creation to replace the “Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places” palmetto tree license plate.

Nelson’s is one of three designs South Carolinians can choose from until July 27 at the Department of Motor Vehicles Web site. The other two designs are by Tom Crosby of Darlington and Matthew Kamann of Mount Pleasant.

Nelson’s design features the state flag in the upper left corner.

“I wanted to do something that was different than what has been done over the past several years,” she said.

Crosby’s design incorporates the state’s landscape from the coast to the mountains.

Kamann’s includes a sunset along the horizon.

3 thoughts on “The Daily Flag News—June 12, 2007

  1. Thanks for linking to my article.  Interesting site you've got here!

  2. You are welcome, elementaryhistoryteacher.

    I loved your story about John A Quitman. It was informative and interesting to learn about a man, in American history, I knew nothing about. Great Job!

  3. […] record is broken, July 5th, 12:02 AM. Last month I included an article about Robert Heft in The Daily Flag. The 50-star flag was staged to break the record for longest […]

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