What Are Some Potential Arrangements for the U.S. Flag If There Were 51 States?


Quick Answer

While there is no official flag in place if the United States admits a 51st state, the most commonly recommended pattern keeps the current horizontal pattern of stars and shifts the rows slightly so the flag can fit an extra star. Some unorthodox designs exist that either drastically change the stars' arrangement or the entire flag.

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The standard design recommended for a 51-state country is six alternating rows of nine and eight stars in the blue square, similar to the modern U.S. flag. A different version is sometimes used by proponents of the Puerto Rican statehood movement, where 50 stars are arranged in a circular pattern around a center star. This design has circular layers of five, 10, 15 and 20 stars.

One unorthodox design of a 51-star flag involves placing the stars in an arrangement of three interlocking hexagons. Another design arranges the stars in a pentagonal shape. There is also a design of a five-pointed star bounded by a circle and two lines of stars along the square's borders.

Some designs change the shape of the flag so longer arrangements of stars can fit. For example, if the blue square is extended to a vertical rectangle, the designer can fit three columns of 17 stars. One arrangement does away with the square entirely and replaces it with a blue circle in the flag's center and a blue border around the flag; 13 stars representing the original colonies fit in the circle, while the remaining 38 stars fit in the flag's border.

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