As the fireworks and festivities of this long fourth of July weekend have faded, many Americans are either trudging back to their offices with a food coma or embracing the week with a fervor that only a patriotic afterglow can provide. For the latter group, we've got some patriotic math research to report.
Although no new states have joined the U.S. for over half a century, there's been a renewed push to induct Puerto Rico as the 51st state. This fact coupled with the ongoing campaign for D.C.'s statehood raises the possibility of a new state and, consequently, the need for a new U.S. flag.
So what would a 51-star flag look like? Mathematician Skip Garibaldi (Emory University) answered that question with a computer simulation, revealing several possibilities. So what's the best 51-star flag? That depends upon your aesthetic preferences.
Stars can be arranged in a rectangle, circle, star, or some combination thereof. Check out the video below to see just a few of the options.