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President Eisenhower Chooses 50-Star Flag

Designed by High School Student Bob Heft

The design of the 50-star flag, representing the addition of Hawaii as a state, is a fascinating story attributed to high school student Robert G. "Bob" Heft. In 1958, as Alaska and Hawaii were under consideration for statehood, Bob Heft, a 17-year-old student at Lancaster, Ohio's Union High School, embarked on a personal project for his history class. Heft's teacher assigned the class to create new 50-star flag designs in anticipation of potential state additions.


Heft, who had an early passion for politics and government, recognized the possibility of two new states and took it upon himself to design a 50-star flag, incorporating the stars in a staggered formation to better accommodate the new stars while maintaining the flag's balanced aesthetic. He stitched the flag by hand, using his mother's sewing machine, and presented it to his history teacher. Although initially receiving a B- for his effort, Heft's design soon gained recognition and significance.

In 1959, both Alaska and Hawaii officially became states, prompting the need for a new flag design. Heft's flag design gained national attention, and his high school teacher submitted it to Congressman Walter Moeller. Moeller then presented Heft's design to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Impressed by Heft's initiative and creativity, President Eisenhower selected Heft's design, and it was officially adopted as the new 50-star flag on July 4, 1960.

Bob Heft's ingenuity and dedication led to the creation of the iconic 50-star flag that is still in use today. His story underscores the power of individual initiative and the impact that young people can have on shaping the nation's symbols. Heft later pursued a career in education and government, and his contribution to American history remains a testament to the transformative potential of young minds driven by passion and determination.


Additional Resources:


President Eisenhower chooses 50 star flag designed by HS student Bob Heft


Executive Order 10834, Dwight D. Eisenhower, August 21, 1959


Executive Order 10834 -- The Flag of the United States


Design of United States Flag


Bob Heft & the 50 Star Flag

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