While giving a history program about the Star spangled Banner, someonw asked me: What was the shortest lived official flag of the U.S.? and from that I'd like to extend ...
While giving a history program about the Star spangled Banner, someonw asked me: What was the shortest lived official flag of the U.S.? and from that I'd like to extend the question to What was the longest flag? Probably the current one. But how about longest before 1912.
Our current flag, with 50 stars, has been the same since 1960, so that's 46 years.
The longest the same flag was flown was between 1912 and 1959, when the flag had 48 stars That was 47 years, just one more than our current streak. Before 1912 the longest run was a mere 23 years, between 1795 and 1818, when there were only 15 stars and 15 states (the original 13 plus Kentucky and Vermont.
The shortest-lived flag is a tie between nine different flags that each only lasted a year. The most recent of these was the 49-star flag, which was only used between July 4, 1959 and July 3, 1960, when Hawaii was admitted to the Union.
Other one-year flags were:
- 20 stars, 1818-1819
- 21 stars, 1819-1820
- 25 stars, 1836-1837
- 27 stars, 1845-1846
- 28 stars, 1846-1847
- 29 stars, 1847-1848
- 32 stars, 1858-1859
- 43 stars, 1890-1891
Thanks for asking!