Mathematical Star Placement on the US Flag

Quick! How many stars are on this flag? No, it's not the American flag we use now, but a pattern with 51 stars, which will be needed if Puerto Rico becomes a state. Mathematician Skip Garibaldi worked out the most geometric layouts that will accommodate more stars if the flag has to be updated if and when states join the union. Slate posted an interactive flag calculator, in which you can enter a number of states, from one to a hundred stars, and see the best pattern according to a computer program Garibaldi created. Some numbers have more than one pattern, with up to six styles. Read all about it in this article from Chris Wilson at Slate. Link

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Technically there's only 46 "states". Four of the so called states are commonwealths.


@Kalel Roger that!

(just what we need another basket case welfare state)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Mathematical Star Placement on the US Flag"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More