Jun 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Flagmakers prepare designs as D.C. statehood debate heats up

U.S. flag with 51 stars

U.S. flag with 51 stars. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. flagmakers have begun preparing designs to add a 51st star to the American flag amidst a revitalized push to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., NBC News reports.

The state of play: The House passed a bill for D.C. statehood in April, but getting it through the Senate remains a long shot.

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote, but the measure is opposed by Republicans and even some Democrats.

Nevertheless, flagmakers around the country are at the ready.

  • Two years ago, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a new flag design with 51 stars, composed in "three horizontal rows with nine stars, three horizontal rows with eight stars," per NBC News.

Carter Beard of Annin Flagmakers told NBC News that making the design change of adding an additional star could take place within an hour of the measure's approval in the Senate.

  • "We call in a ‘running change’ and the redesign part of the process can be done quickly. It’s manufacturing the new flags that takes time," he said.
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