Mental Floss

6 Stripes for Flag Day

Kara Kovalchik
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As a follow-up to Stacy's great list of flag facts, enjoy this six-pack of stories (one for each white stripe) about famous American banners flown around the world. Happy Flag Day, everyone!

We Own the Moon!

Few images are as iconic as that of Neil Armstrong planting the U.S. flag into the lunar soil when man first landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The identity of the person who actually crafted the flag, however, is disputed. According to some newspaper accounts, seamstress Dolores Black claims to have sewn it while working for "the nation's largest flag manufacturer" in Milwaukee. Black says her boss approached her a month before the Apollo 11's launch, saying he'd been contacted by NASA about sewing a special flag, and he assigned Black, his senior seamstress to the task. However, an official NASA press release dated July 3, 1969, the flag taken to the Moon had been purchased from Sears and retro-fitted with the special aluminum staff and crossbar tubing. Annin & Company, which was the largest flag manufacturer in the U.S. at the time - and which does not have a plant in Milwaukee - was the supplier of flags to the Sears department store chain. Even if the next set of astronauts to land on the Moon located the flag (which Buzz Aldrin says blew over in the rocket blast when the team left the Moon), 40 years of being exposed to the Sun's ultra-violet rays would have most likely bleached away not only the stars and stripes, but also the signature Black says she left underneath the webbing.

Great Big Stars

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One, Two, Three, Lift!

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Ever Forward

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Doing the Dip

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In Memorium

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