EXPIRED: 12/12/09 – Bob Heft, 67, was sorta like Betsy Ross, if Betsy Ross was a 17 year old high school boy from Lancaster, Ohio, which would have been hard since when Betsy Ross was alive there was no such place as Lancaster, Ohio.
Like Ross, Heft designed an America Flag. Only his version had 50 stars on it. And he did it for a class project. And he only got a B- on it.
He created the current U.S. flag in 1958 as a school project by unstitching the blue field from a family 48-star flag, sewed in a new field, and used iron-on white fabric to add 100 hand-cut stars, 50 on each side.
After discussing the grade with his high school teacher, Stanley Pratt, it was agreed that if the flag was accepted by Congress, the grade would be reconsidered. Heft’s flag design was indeed chosen and adopted by presidential proclamation after Alaska and before Hawaii were admitted into the union in 1959. His grade for the project was changed to an A. Not an A+. An A.
Feeling like he was shortchanged, he quickly went out and copywrited designs for 51- through 60-star American flags, because hey, you never know.
After teaching high school and college Heft spent 28 years as mayor of Napoleon, Ohio.
The American flag, his creation, hung in his office all those years.