Were there 52 states?

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. EmailPoster

    EmailPoster New Member

  2. sarahw

    sarahw Guest


    No, there have never been 52 states. I don't know how rumors like this get started. Just for fun, I thought I'd Google 52 states, to see if this was a question a lot of people had.

    It turns out that a lot of people in Iceland apparently believe that there are 52 states. The theory (reported on a Bostonian in Iceland's blog) suggests their textbooks may have once said that there were 52 states, but there never have been.

    If you're ever in doubt, count the stars on the flag. There's one for every state.

    Perhaps the confusion is that in some national competitions (Miss America springs to mind) there are 52 contestants, one for each state plus one for the District of Columbia and one for Puerto Rico, which is actually a commonwealth, not a state.

    I hope this clears up your confusion!

  3. syedrafay

    syedrafay Guest

    i was searcing for the same topic when i came across this website actually i had an argument with a couple of my collegues they said that USA has 52 states and i was cornered by many of them as i was the only one who said USA has 50 states . The argument continued and they kept on saying that there are 52 states as there are 52 stars . As a keen enthusiast about american history and literature i explained to them the whole Flag theory but to no avail. It is a common belief here in Pakistan that the US has 52 states and its very difficult to tell people that there are 50 ive seen a few flags with 52 stars please can some give me a detailed explanation for this?
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hello, Syedrafay, and welcome!

    The United States has 50 states, and there are 50 stars on the flag. This has been the case since July 4th, 1960, when the 50th star was added for the new state of Hawaii.

    I have heard this strange story about 52 states before, and it is very puzzling -- I can't imagine where it came from. The USA does have 5 territories: Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Marianas and Guam, and one federal district, the District of Columbia. There are also a few other uninhabited islands, etc. However, none of these are states and the law (4 USC 1, Sections 1 and 2) is very clear that the stars of the flag represent states. (Acutally, the law says that the flag shall have 48 stars, and that a star shall be added on the admission of a new state. The law was written before Alaska and Hawaii joined the union, so the correct number is now 48 plus 2 = 50).

    Perhaps you could ask your friends to name all 52 states -- it will be interesting to see their list!

    Could you tell us something about the flag of Pakistan, what kinds of rules there are in your country about the flag?

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
  5. syedrafay

    syedrafay Guest

    Hello Mr Ansoff,
    thankyou for a very usefull information actually the people ia was talking about coundnt even name the pakistani states let alone american. it is a misconception here in Pakistan that the USA has52 states so i hope people would actually try to find out the truth as i did.

    The Pakistan Flag was designed by Ameer-ud-din Khidwai. The national flag of Pakistan is dark green in colour with a white bar, a white crescent in the centre and a five-pointed star. The significance of the colour and symbols used in the Pakistan Flag is as follows: The white and dark green field represents minorities & Muslim majority, respectively.
    The crescent on the flag represents progress.
    The five-rayed star represents light and knowledge.
    Pakistan does not represent any provinces on the flag actually we have a green portion and a white portion and a crescent and a star on it . The white portion represents the minorities that is the other religions besides Islam and the green portion represents the vast majority i.e the muslims. Pakistan was made for the muslims of the subcontinent to have a seperate homeland for them. we gained independance from the British and the Indians on 14th august 1947. it was decided that muslim majority areas would be given to pakistan by the british but after independace India forced their way in to ferozepur ghazipur hyderabad junagarh etc. what you might have heard about is kashmir. kashmir with a 75% muslim population is pakistani teritory but india has its troops there and we have fought 4 wars for this reason. Thank God that we have ended the war strategy and have gone forward with the peace process. I hope the Indian side also responds.

    we have 5 provinces including kashmir actually we have a divided kashmir initially we had six that was east pakistan now bangladesh we have many small states within pakistan but ruled by the government.

    hope this answers questions in your mind if not please feel free to ask any time you like and please let me know honestly what u thought about pakistan

    Syed Abdur Rafay Qayyum
    CapeFearPirate likes this.
  6. lheusser37

    lheusser37 New Member

    Yeah, I looked this up wondering if there was a huge group of people thinking that there are 52 states. I was just told that I could not have something shipped to my home in Alaska because its not one of the 52 states. I asked her to list all 52 (especially considering Alaska was not one of them), she did not list them. I don't get it at all.
  7. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, lheusser37,

    I was just told that I could not have something shipped to my home in Alaska because its not one of the 52 states.

    Frustrating, isn't it? I've had people tell me that New Mexico is a foreign country.

    In fairness to the person you talked to, there are some shipping regulations and such that specify "the continental United States," which excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Maybe she got confused and added 2 to the total instead of subtracting it.

    Hope all is well with you in the 49th state, which has one of the finest flags in the nation!


    Peter Ansoff
  8. quite a number of people (including my dad who is a lawyer and highly respected intellegent man) i have spoken to have asked me why theres 'only' 50 stars on the flag when theres 52 states!! ive asked my dad to name the states but he didnt name all of them but thought Puerto Rico and Canada (HAHAHAHA!!!!!) where the 51st and 52nd states lol

    i honestly dont know where he read that or saw that!
  9. kaseydings

    kaseydings Guest

    I am so happy that i found this site, I too could have sworn that when I was in school there were 52 states. I have asked numerous people over the years where the other 2 states went and everyone looks at me like i am a moron. i dont know where along the lines I was told there were 52 states as that was many years ago but I am just happy I am not the only one that is a moron. Stupidity in numbers is awesome!!!
  10. lol
    i live in england and have lived in england all my life and i am english

    i knew thre was 50 states and have never heard of any more than that until i came on such forums like this and people asking if there were 52 lol
    i always knew the amount of stars on the flag was the amount of states there were!!
  11. jammy_d

    jammy_d Guest

    To be honest I thought it had 52 states but from looking at this forum obviously realise that the correct answer is 50. I resent the implication that I am unintelligent as a result of this, given that unless I had been having an argument with someone on the subject I wouldn't have been bothered to look up this relatively pointless information (for a uk citizen). Lets not forget that the vast majority of people in america think that the only place in england is london. I wonder if these people know how many states that the US has.
  12. its only a pointless piece of info if u want tit to be pointesss

    i also was born and live here in england - with no american blood
    yet i have a great interest in a america and in particular its flags

    i think its alot more pointless being interested in celebrities and fashion (example) than it is to be interested in a country its life cultures and flags
  13. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hi, Jammy,

    I resent the implication that I am unintelligent as a result of this,

    I don't think that anyone is seriously saying the you're unintelligent. We're simply puzzled about where this particular misconception came from. Maybe you can help us. Do you happen to recall where you first heard about it?


    Peter Ansoff
  14. Canadian1551

    Canadian1551 Guest

    i just registered to share my own story!

    i too thought there were 52 US states. i'm originally Syrian but living in Canada since 5 years now.. i now wonder if all Syrians think the same way. i googled "52 US states" and this topic came up..

    thought it will be interesting to share my sad long held misconseption.. i'm kinda surprised and disappointed (at myself)
  15. Canadian1551

    Canadian1551 Guest

    and actually it could be that the number 50 sounds too perfect.. and people think that 52 is more likely. very possible reason..... unless the person u asked is a professional cards player :p
  16. Pompey Janner

    Pompey Janner New Member

    I too am English, and have always lived in England.

    I was just watching the Jerry Springer Show with my Fiancée, and Steve asked a Guest how many States there were in America. I said 52, and my Fiancée said 50. I was most surprised, when it emerged that she was right and I was wrong. I was specifically told by my History Teacher that there were 52 States.

    The annoying thing is, I went to a school that is ranked among the top three schools in my town, and that school can still fail to provide its pupils with correct facts.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2007
  17. wow

    my highschool was (still is)the only one in a 10 mile radius here in Cumbria

    we learnt nothing about th USA there

    i knew at age 5 that there was 50 states in the USA = 50 stars on the US flag - learnt at infants school year 1 (1st grade)
    i still have a piece of work i did in 1989 when i was 5 - about the USA which included the information that there is 50 states and a a messy drawing of the US flag!
  18. heres type up of the piece of work - so forgot it was 1990 and not 89 but i was close! - i had made a thread sharing this with everybody a few months back

    i found this piece of work in an old scrapbook of my old work that i was lookng through... there wasnt much there but i must have liked this piece of work in order to have kept it all these years! (im now 23)

    i just thought id share the contents with you because i find it rather funny!!

    ok here goes.. ill type it exactly how it is written with the spelling that i used.

    27th March 1990 My favouite country

    My favouite country is the Unitid States of America
    it is verry big and their is lots of people their
    Thay talk funny

    Their nathonal anthum is my favouite song
    it is called Star Spangled Banner'

    Their is 50 states or counties in USA
    (yes- i actually compared the size of counties of England to States in the USA... I think i didnt have a clue how big the USA was lol)

    i know 3 i think.. Florida, Callaforna and Mississippi.
    i lernt to spell mississippi at scool and the teacher teached us how to spell it bakwurds witch is ippississim.

    the flag looks like this
    (i drew a US flag with random stars and 9 stripes using pencil pen and crayon)

    it is calld the American flag or stars and stripes.

    Americans fly their flag alot. i saw pitchers of the USA with american flags everywhere. their is even 1 on the moon.
    They fly their flag in front of their house and everywhere they can fly it off of

    i think they like their flag!

    their is 50 stars on the flag for the 50 states and the flag has the same colours as our union jack

    i want to go to the USA becas it is a big playground and their is disneyland and i like Mcdonals happy meals and the toys inside and you can make cassels with the box

    the end

  19. Splaisling

    Splaisling New Member

    Hello! My Nick-name is Splaisling!!! Am i am from Ireland and was always thought that there is 52 states. One day i was staying at my friends house and she bought up 50 states. Now she is American and i quickly replied no there are 52. My other American friend said there were 52 aswell. We were really confused and we'll i started looking up on the internet to find some information as to why people believe that there are 52!!! I was so glad when i came across a forum like this!!! I think my research explains that people believe there are 52 because they see 2 extra places as states and but the government of U.S.A see only 50 states!!!:eek: :confused:
  20. Kat48001

    Kat48001 New Member

    I remember learning in school that there were 52 states! To verify this I looked up a school project that our class did...To my surprise the question on the test was "How many states are there?" Answer "52!!!" Figure that??? It is a sad day when our classes teach us the wrong thing!!! So needless to say I was in the top bajillion people that thought there were 52 states!!! When I looked over the test, the test NEVER asked us to name all of the states! Maybe if they asked???

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