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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.

Go deeper

Texas Senate passes GOP voting bill after Democrat ends 15-hour filibuster

Texas state Senate. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

The Texas Senate approved a Republican-backed bill that contains new voting restrictions on Thursday after a Democratic senator filibustered for 15 hours in an effort to stop the measure, AP reports.

Why it matters: While the vote brings Texas a step closer to enacting the bill, the measure continues to face trouble in the state House, where Democrats have prevented quorum by staying away in a weeks-long standoff.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.