Since its origins in 1777, the American flag has been revised over two dozen times. When it was originally designed, the American flag featured 13 stripes along with 13 stars. While the current American flag still features 13 stripes, it now has 50 stars. There’s an interesting story behind the current American flag, however, that many people are unaware of. To learn more about it and who was responsible for designing it, keep reading.
Who Designed the Current American Flag?
The current American flag was designed by a 17-year-old high school student named Robert Heft in 1958. For a school project, Robert Heft was tasked with designing a new version of the American flag. Heft’s design consisted of 13 stripes and 50 stars — a familiar and iconic design that has been used to represent the American flag ever since.
Heft’s mother was an avid seamstress, though she refused to help her son with the project. Instead, Heft was forced to design the new American flag on his own. It’s safe to say that Heft’s design was a success. Shortly after submitting his design to Congress, it was selected to replace the previous American flag design. Since then, Congress has continued to recognize Heft’s design as the official American flag.
What’s even more astonishing, however, is the fact that Heft didn’t score a perfect grade for his school project. His teacher actually gave him a B- initially. It’s believed that Heft discussed the grade with his teacher, and the two joked that if Congress selected Heft’s design, his grade would be changed to an A. To the surprise of both parties, Congress did, in fact, choose Heft’s design. Heft’s teacher fulfilled her promise by changing his grade from a B- to an A.
In 1960, Heft’s 50-star American flag was officially displayed for the first time at Fort Henry in Baltimore, Maryland. This ushered in a new era in which the United States would begin to display the 50 embroidered star, stitched stripes American flag rather than the earlier flag variant with fewer stars.
The current American flag wasn’t designed by some large team of professional flag artisans. Unbeknownst to many Americans, it was designed by Robert Heft. While Heft was attending high school, he was asked to design a new American flag for a project. Heft submitted his design to Congress, assuming it would be rejected. As history goes, however, Congress selected Heft’s design, thereby changing the American flag to its current variant consisting of 13 stripes and 50 stars.