Sunday, January 30, 2005

How many Stars did the Flag have that flew at the original Golden Spike ceremony?

Date: January 30, 2005 3:46:59 AM EST
Subject: Question

How many Stars did the Flag have that flew at the original Golden Spike ceremony. Some say 20, some say 37 but the photos on this site indicate that there might have been 20, 24 or 28 but not 37.
Photograph R0538 by Russell appears to be the best one for counting stars but on the web it is not clear how many stars are present. It definitely looks like 4 symmetrical rows which make the number of stars the previously mentioned 20, 24, or 28.
Thank you. 

Wm. W. Gorman, Jr.


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

If it was the current official flag for May 1869 it would have had 37 stars.

There is supposed to be one star per state, but the flag only changes once
a year (on July 4th)

Nebraska, the 37th state, was added as a state on March 1st 1867, and the
37 star flag became the official flat on July 4 1867. Colorado, the 38th
state was admitted on August 1, 1876, and the 38 star flag was adopted on
July 4, 1877.

The 37 star flag was supposed to have 5 horizontal rows of stars, with 8
stars in the top and bottom rows, and 7 in the 3 middle rows.

Its possible someone used an older flag to commemorate some past event.
The last flag with 4 stars was the 30 star 1848 to 1851, and predated
California's admission (we are the 31st state) , so its unlikely that
someone used that flag, but possibly it could have been a 27 star flag
(Mexican American War) which brought the territory of California into the

Isn't there a reference somewhere to Huntington purchasing flags,
presumably for the ceremony?

Randy Hees

1/30/2005 9:32 AM  

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