World’s Strangest

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The Technical Challenges of Planting a US Flag on the Moon

American flag on the moon. Like everything else in the Apollo 11 program, the construction, transportation and raising of the American flag on the moon was carefully thought out and planned. In 1992, Anne M. Platoff presented a paper to the annual conference of the American Vexillological Association on the topic. She covered in detail how [...]

The 51-star US Flag

On Tuesday, the majority of the voting citizens of Puerto Rico who indicated they wanted a change in status said they would like the island to become the 51st state of the United States. That’s a long way from statehood, but it is a step. The immediate question arose as to what a flag with [...]

The American Flags on the Moon Are Still Standing

During the six Apollo moon landings, astronauts left American flags planted into the lunar soil. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has surveyed the moon for the past three years, has revealed that all but one of them are still standing: The photos from Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter (LRO) show the flags are still casting shadows – except [...]

The Marathoner Without a Country

You may have noticed during the Parade of Nations that four Olympic athletes are participating under the Olympic banner instead of their country’s flag. Three are from the Netherlands Antilles, a nation which was dissolved in 2010. The other athlete is 28-year-old marathon runner Guor Marial. Marial was born in what is now South Sudan, [...]

Why Won’t Team USA Dip the Flag at the Opening Ceremonies?

Getty Images For the last 100 years, the Olympic spirit has come with an asterisk for the United States. It’s not doping. It’s not underage gymnasts. In fact, if you’re not looking closely, you’ll miss it at the Opening Ceremonies: the United States will be the only country that refuses to dip its flag when passing [...]

14 Finer Points of the U.S. Flag Code

Tom Pennington/Getty Images The National Flag Code was adopted on June 14, 1923, by the National Flag Conference. The representatives from the U.S. Army and Navy and more than 60 other organizations in attendance were charged with examining the rules and procedures of flag display—developed separately by the Army and Navy—and deciding which of those [...]

How the Rainbow Became Associated with Gay Rights

The first time Roy G. Biv flew in the name of LGBT rights was on June 25, 1978, in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Reportedly inspired by Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” artist Gilbert Baker hand-dyed and thirty a banner with eight stripes, each with symbolic meaning: Hot Pink: Sexuality Red: Life Orange: Healing Yellow: Sunlight Green: Nature Turquoise: [...]

What happened to the flags on the moon ?

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the first flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. There were difficulties even during the proces…

How to Fly the American Flag

With Memorial Day approaching, we thought it might be a good time to take a look at the rules for respectfully displaying the American flag. We’ve covered the customs surrounding flying the flag at half-staff before, so today let’s take a look at some other sections of the United States Flag Code. © Jeff Spielman/Corbis When [...]

Space Auction

NASA is preparing to auction off souvenirs, paperwork, and hardware from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects. Of course, items from the Apollo 11 mission will command higher prices, such as the American flag shown, which went to the moon in the summer of 1969. Remarkable flight-flown printed fabric American flag, 6 x 4, flown aboard [...]