Another sad note, but one perhaps with more quirk. This Saturday marked the passing of Robert G. Heft, designer of America’s 50-star flag. Heft created the layout as a junior in high school for a class project in 1958 based on the suspected upcoming additions of Hawaii and Alaska to the nation’s states (which would happen in 1959). After spending hours reconfiguring the 48 stars and adding two more, the design found its way to President Eisenhower who selected it as the new flag. According to his area’s local paper, the Sagniaw News, Heft spent the majority of his life split between rural Michigan and rural Ohio, where he was a college professor.
“I never thought when I designed the flag that it would outlast the 48-star flag,” he said in 2007. “I think of all the things it stood for in the past, the things we’ve done as a nation that we’re proud of. It’s not a perfect country, but where else would I like to live?”