Special Report

All the Different US Flags and How They Got That Way

Source: Wikimedia Commons

21. Forty-Three Star U.S. Flag
> Years flown: 1890 ~ 1891
> Who was president: Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)

A flurry of state admissions boosted the star total on the flag to 43 by July 4, 1890, as statehood filled out the United States in the high plains and the far west. Five states were admitted to the Union and five stars added to the flag: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington all in 1889, and Idaho in 1890.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

22. Forty-Four Star U.S. Flag
> Years flown: 1891 ~ 1896
> Who was president: Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)

Six states were admitted to the Union when President Benjamin Harrison was president, more than any other president. Wyoming was the last of the six, boosting the number of stars on the flag to 44. Wyoming was admitted on July 10, 1890, even though it was 5,000-people short of the 60,000-person requirement to become a state.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

23. Forty-Five Star U.S. Flag
> Years flown: 1896 ~ 1908
> Who was president: Grover Cleveland (1893-1897), William McKinley (1897-1901), and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

Utah became a state on Jan. 4, 1896, and the 45th star on the flag later that year. However, the area that would become Utah had been part of the United States since the nation received the territory as part of a treaty that ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. Mormons settled in the area, and their practice of polygamy prevented Utah from becoming a state until Mormons renounced polygamy in the state constitution.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

24. Forty-Six Star U.S. Flag
> Years flown: 1908 ~ 1912
> Who was president: Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) and William H. Taft (1909-1913)

Oklahoma became the first state to be admitted to the Union in the 20th century, on Nov. 16, 1907, taking its place on the U.S. flag as the 46th star the following year. The United States had used the Oklahoma territory to resettle Native American people, but by the late 19th century, Texas ranchers began moving northward and the federal government decided to open up the territory for homesteaders.

Source: usnhistory / Flickr

25. Forty-Eight Star U.S. Flag
> Years flown: 1912 ~ 1959
> Who was president: William H. Taft (1909-1913), Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Warren Harding (1921-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), Harry S.Truman (1945-1953), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

The southwestern territories of New Mexico and Arizona were the last to join the 48 contiguous states. New Mexico became the 47th state on Jan. 6, 1912, and Arizona attained statehood on Feb. 14, 1912. The 48-star flag flew longer than any other flag before it, 47 years, and eight presidents served under it.