Two stars added to nation’s flag in states’ honor
New Mexico and Arizona now represented in blue field of Old Glory
Denoting the addition of Arizona and New Mexico to the sisterhood of States, two stars were today added to the national flag. Although the two Territories became States some time ago, under the law, the changes could not be made in the flag until today, the first Independence Day following their admission to Statehood.
Not since 1890 had two stars been added to the flag on July 4. In that year stars representing the States of Idaho, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were added.
After July 4, 1896, when Utah was admitted to the Union, the forty five stars in the flag were arranged in six rows, the first, third, and fifth rows having eight stars each, and the second, fourth, and sixth rows seven stars each. A rearrangement was made four years ago by a joint board of army and navy officers to meet the admission of Oklahoma’s star, and the arrangement remained until today, eight stars being in the first, third, fourth, and sixth rows and seven stars in the second and fifth rows. For Arizona and New Mexico, a star each was added to the second and fifth rows, which makes six rows of eight stars each.
Inasmuch as the admission of the other territorial possessions to Statehood is a matter of the distant future, it is likely the flag becoming effective today will remain unchanged for quite a number of years.
The President’s flag, which has heretofore had a red field, will have a blue field after today.
Photo: 48-star United States flag from the Richmond Motor Corps during World War II (Courtesy Virginia Historical Society)