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47 Star Flag -unofficial- (U.S.)

Last modified: 2002-10-12 by rick wyatt
Keywords: forty-seven | united states | unofficial |
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It's clear that there's never been an official 47-stars flag of the United States. New Mexico became the 47th state on 6 January 1912, but since the United States only adopts new flags on the 4th of July, the addition of Arizona as the 48th state changed the number of stars again before a new flag was adopted.

Of course, for a new flag to be flown at the 4th of July flag, manufacturers have to make the flags before those are official. In some cases a state was added so close to the 4th of July, that manufacturers had already begun making flags that were never to be. But since Arizona gained statehood on 14 February 1912 this apparently did not happen for the 47 star flag.

The 47 star flag is a rare item. Still, it's not completely unique. Apparently some people did make such flags, what ever their reasons for doing so may have been. Doing some quick Internet research gave me the following list:

  • The Tularosa Basin Historical Society Museum has one such flag, with staggered rows of 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, and 7 stars.
  • The Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe has a 47-star flag.
  • Fort McHenry Monument and Historic Shine apparently also has such a flag.
As you can see, the publically know 47-star flags can be counted on the fingers of one hand. I only found a photograph of the first one, though, and I don't know the patterns of the stars on the other flags.

Most flags appear to be in or near New Mexico, which probably means they were made by people from New Mexico who wanted to demonstrate their pride in gaining statehood.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 29 September 2000