Scale dimensions for the Star Spangled Banner

Discussion in 'US Flag Specs and Design' started by PRGringo, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    One of the flags that I plan to make will be an accurate as possible replica of the 15 star/15 stripe Star Spangled Banner.

    The Smithsonian states the original size was 30 feet by 42 feet. I wish to fab a flag about 36" on the fly side. My question is (because I am terrible at math) what would the length be, given this scale? Anyone care to please calculate this for me? My guess would be around 46"?

    The stars in the canton of the original measure 2 feet. Anyone willing to please calculate the size I would need to make these based on the ratio of the overall flag?

    Now, assuming that the canton is a true square, I will make the canton the same height and width as the 8 horizontal stripes.

    Thank you for your help in allowing me to make an accurate, scaled-down version of this historic flag!
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    30x42 = 5/7 Ratio

    30 = Hoist (height)
    42 = Fly (length)

    30/6 = 5
    42/6 = 7

    5::7 Hoist-to-Fly ratio.

    If the hoist were to be 35", then the fly would be 49".

    35/7 = 5 (hoist)
    49/7 = 7 (fly)

    If the fly were to be 35", then the hoist would be 25".

    35/5 = 7 (fly)
    25/5 = 5 (hoist)

    Does THAT help???

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  3. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Thank you, Robin. That is exactly what I needed. I do apologize for my incorrect use of Fly versus Hoist. I do mean a hoist of 35/7" which translates to 49/7" on the length of the stripes or fly.

    I would have figured it out eventually but it takes me more time than most.
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Whatever the hoist is and knowing that there are 15 stripes should make the "math" fairly easy as far as the stripes width.

    Knowing the width of the stripes will help determine the "hoist" of the Union since it is eight stripes "deep".

    Just remember that the 15 Stars are "dancing"!


    If you'd like to buy an American Made, 3'x5', nylon, sewn & embroidered, 15-star "Star-Spangled Banner" flag for only $8.50 (+S&H), you can find one at the Allied Flag Company's on-line U.S. Flag Store:

    Star Spangled Banner 3' x 5' Nylon |

    Why so "cheep"? I don't know for sure, but I suspect that it might be related to the 15 stars (non-dancing) in the Union and the slightly "aged" off-white stripes.


    Have FUN !!!

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  5. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Thanks, Robin! Yes, there are inexpensive flags out there with non-dancing star but that is why I want to make my own to have one just the same as the original.

    The aspect ratio is interesting and I see that there are at least 2 other flags that share that aspect ratio, the 20 star Great Star flag and the Grand Union flag.

    I will keep everyone apprised of the project when I start it.
  6. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    PS: I did order the flag that was on sale. That's a good price!
  7. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    When you finish your Star Spangled Banner replica are you going to cut off pieces and give them away as souvenirs like the Armistead and Appleton families did? :D

    Seriously now, why don't you check with Ft. McHenry and ask them if they will fly your flag from their flag pole? :eek: Here is their website:
    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (U.S. National Park Service)

    By the way, Baltimore flagmaker F.W. Haxel is selling replicas with dancing stars: 3 ft. x 5 ft. Star Spangled Banner Flag

    Nick A
    Columbia Maryland
  8. coasterville

    coasterville Member

    I think I paid $36 for my cotton star spangled banner with dancing stars (Annin). There is a thread about it somewhere in the archives of these forums as we had pretty lively discussion at the time.

    It like a lot of modern flags is 3x5. So, did 3x5 become the de facto standard because of that whole mass production thing, asthetics (we are used to that aspect ratio, or what. I know even our flag isn't that ratio if you buy G Spec, so why is just about every commercial flag is 3x5 no matter what flag it is.
  9. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    That would be one way to cut it down to size!

    I definitely will ask them if I can. I hope to visit there sometime in the future.

    I did and because I am a sucker for historical flags, I bought one. I may still make one or maybe I will alter this one to the proper size!

    Thanks for the info!
  10. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    $36 is a good price for what you got. I still think I can make a flag for under $20 in material/ My time is free so it is cheaper for me than buying a 38 star, for example at $50 to $80 a pop.

    I understand the economics but after learning all that I have here and through research, I want to make some accurate replicas. They won't look bad as long as they are viewed at a distance! :rolleyes:
  11. coasterville

    coasterville Member

    I'm afraid I was mistaken. Most of the Annin Bulldog "Flags of our Country" historical line sell for around $35, however the Star Spangled Banner lists in their catalog for $53 (note said catalog is a few years old) and looking at solid source evidence (the box the flag came in) - the box price tag reads $55.

    Sorry if I misled you into thinking there was a bargain to be had.

    I wonder if its the sewn on cotton stars vs. embrosidered stars. Their cotton Bennington is much less and it also has a differing number of stripes, a differnet size canton and different shaped embroidered stars, as well as the 76 in full embroidery. I would have thought that one to be more expensive to produce.
  12. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Haxel is/was selling a dancing star SSB for $20. Got one so thanks Nava!

    I suspect that the makers are weighing the time and material to make a 50 star flag versus a 76. I suspect the time and material costs are similar.
  13. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Thanks for this link Robin! I just got my flag today and I am stoked! This flag is not a cheaply made flag as I have attached some photos to prove it. The only problem I have with it is that the stars are embroidered (not a fan) and are too small for a 15 star star flag. But hey, for $6.50 (the price must have gone down) I am not complaining. What I am going to do is to pull those puppies off (the stars) and sewn on my own dancing stars to match the Fort McHenry flag. I did check out Haxel's printed and all sewn SSB's but I just couldn't make myself paid that much for the sewn version. I decided to wait for this flag and see if the quality was good enough and boy am I glad I waited!

    IMG_1363w.jpg IMG_1364w.jpg IMG_1365w.jpg IMG_1360w.jpg IMG_1361w.jpg
  14. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Yall,
    I just finished replacing the stars on the above flag. I am very pleased with the results although I had a couple of accidents cuting around the stars that I had to fix. But once I got my technque down it was no problem. Dave, I really need to talk to you on how you did your stars. I can't imagine doing 50 stars! I was going to do another flag but the price went back up to $24 for this flag. Still not bad for a sewn flag. I patterned the star field after the Fort McHenry flag, although the angle of the photo distorts the true view somewhat.

    IMG_1418w.jpg IMG_1419w.jpg

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