(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘American flag

All flags flying…


Obesity percentages per state (in alphabetical order, running left to right, from the top left): the “fatter” the star, the more obese the average state resident

Through the month running up to the November election, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is featuring the responses of four design firms to the challenge of “re-branding America.”

This week’s entrant, MGMT, started from the observation that the U.S. flag is, in fact, an infographic, representative of both America’s history and its modern identity:  13 stripes = 13 original colonies; 50 stars = 50 states–  good as far as it goes, but what else, MGMT asked, might a flag communicate…

Last year, Americans spent over $10 billion on plastic surgery (white). The federal budget for NASA’s space operations was $3.5 billion (red).

Read more about MGMT’s entry here, and see all 50 of their new flags here.  Last week’s entrant, Jeremy Mende, took a different tack…

Readers can find Mendes entries here.


As we stand to attention and salute, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that President John F. Kennedy took to television to report to the nation that Soviet nuclear missiles had been stationed in Cuba, and that in response, the U.S. was launching a naval blockade– and the Cuban Missile Crisis began.

Fifty years later, with the benefit of recently-declassified documents, it’s clear that the crisis was even more dangerous than it felt at the time… and as Ploughshares notes, its effects are with us still.






Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

“Thou hast set all the borders of the earth…” but then humans marked them…

Fifty states, fifty welcome signs.

(“Thou hast set all the borders of the earth…”  Psalms 74:17)

As we gas up and hit the road to collect ’em all, we might recall that it was on this date in 1777 that the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution– and the Stars and Stripes was adopted as the flag of the United States of America for maritime purposes.  While Congress reserved the right to adopt a different design for the nation’s ensign, it never did; rather it just added stars to the original thirteen for each new state in the Union.

The resolution specified “that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation”– but it did not specify the layout of the stars.  Consequently there were several early versions, for instance:

The “Betsy Ross” flag

The Bennington flag

In 1795, the number of stars and stripes was increased to 15 (reflecting the entry of Kentucky and Vermont).  It was about this flag the Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner”– and the dye was cast.

The “Anthem” flag

Happy Flag Day!

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