Ten flags of the United States:
- 49-star flag, in use from July 4, 1959 through July 3, 1960
- 26-star flag, in use from July 4, 1837 through July 3, 1845
- 36-star flag, in use from July 4, 1865 through July 3, 1867
- Grand Union flag, in use from January 8, 1776 through June 14, 1777
- 28-star flag, in use from July 4, 1846 through July 3, 1847
- 38-star flag, in use from July 4, 1877 through July 3, 1890
- 15-star flag, in use from May 1, 1795 though July 3, 1818
- 44-star flag, in use from July 4, 1891 through July 3, 1896
- 21-star flag, in use from July 4, 1819 through July 3, 1820
- 32-star flag, in use from July 4, 1858 through July 3, 1859
My old Boy Scout troop had (and probably still does have) a tradition: every time a troop member became an Eagle Scout, the troop would purchase in his honor a new flag for its historical flag collection. When I earned my Eagle, I asked for the 49-star flag. It was the official flag of the United States for just one year, which is not unique; three of the other flags included in the list were used for just one year, as were five others. What makes the 49-star flag particularly interesting, in my opinion, is that while it was the official flag for one full year, it accurately represented the number of states in the union for a little more than a month. It became the official flag on July 4, 1959; on August 21, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state. The 50-star flag became the official flag of the United States on July 4, 1960.
Here's a picture of a 49-star flag I saw in 2001 — the only time I've ever seen one "in the wild." It takes a certain kind of skill to recognize a 49-star flag as you drive past it an 40 miles an hour. Not a very useful skill, I'll grant you that, but a skill nonetheless.
All of these flag images, with the exception of the Grand Union flag, were created and released to the public domain by Wikipedia user jacobolus. The image of the Grand Union flag was created and released to the public domain by Wikipedia user Joshua Holman.