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Growing up in Arizona, I was taught that our state was the last one admitted to the union. That changed in 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii became states. So it was somewhat jarring for me to read the “Today in History” section on July 4 that on this date “In 1912, the 48-star American flag, recognizing New Mexico statehood, was adopted.”
It is factually true that New Mexico became a state on Jan. 6, 1912, and previously the American flag had only 46 stars. Thus, the new flag did represent the inclusion of New Mexico as a state. But what about Arizona? That state was admitted on Feb. 14, 1912. Arizona has a better case to be made that it is represented by the 48th star, leaving New Mexico with number 47.
Does it really matter? No. But facts do. Let’s be more precise and say the new 1912 flag represented both New Mexico and Arizona.