Red, White and B-minus?

As we celebrate Flag Day on June 14, we’d like to share this often untold story about this national symbol. The blue field with the 50 white stars changed throughout the years as new states entered the union. The last such change was in the late 1950s when two territories, Alaska and Hawaii, were added to the union. The country was faced with a dilemma: 48 stars fit nicely on the blue field of the flag. How would the two new stars be incorporated into Old Glory?

In Lancaster, Ohio, a high school teacher gave the problem to his class as a school project. One of the students, Robert Heft, spent hours with a needle and thread, painstakingly sewing the stars into nine rows: a row of six stars followed by a row of five stars.

However, when Robert presented the new flag, his teacher was unimpressed and gave Heft a B-minus for the assignment. Undeterred by the less-than-perfect grade, Robert sent the flag design to his congressman.

By July 4, 1960, a brand new, 50-star flag with that very pattern was raised above the capitol of the new state of Hawaii. Fortunately, Congress disagreed with the Ohio school teacher and gave Robert an A-plus for his take on the Red, White and Blue.