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No, the Transgender Pride Flag Cannot Be Made Compliant With U.S. Code
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No, the Transgender Pride Flag Cannot Be Made Compliant With U.S. Code

It does matter where the stars go and which colors are used.

(Photo by J. Irwin/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

Is the official U.S. Flag Code flexible enough to allow for the alteration of its colors and the placement of its stars and stripes? According to a viral post circulating on both Instagram and Threads, the stars, stripes, and colors of the flag can be tweaked to mimic a transgender pride flag while keeping the flag U.S. Code compliant.

The post is false: Precise design requirements for the American flag—including colors, placement of the blue field and stars, and dimensions for the stripes—are laid out in Title 4 of the U.S. Code, and technical details are listed further in federal specification DDD-F-416F.

The modern American flag finds its roots in the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the admissions of Alaska and Hawaii as U.S. states. A January 1959 executive order established the design of a 49-star flag recognizing Alaska’s statehood, and in April 1959 an additional executive order was drafted outlining the future design of a 50-star flag recognizing Hawaii. This 50-star flag, which would have “thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white, and a union consisting of white stars on a field of blue,” flew for the first time on July 4, 1960.

Page 23 of DDD-F-416F detailing the standards for the new 50-star American flag

Alongside determining the dimensions and layout of the flag, federal standards also specify three different colors for use in the American flag—white, Old Glory Blue, and Old Glory Red—all of which are detailed in The Standard Color Reference of America. These standards also include numerous other details including official fabric materials, the application of stars, and the flags’ headings.

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Alex Demas is a fact checker at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in England as a financial journalist and earned his MA in Political Economy at King's College London. When not heroically combating misinformation online, Alex can be found mixing cocktails, watching his beloved soccer team Aston Villa lose a match, or attempting to pet stray cats.