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Flags in Space: NASA Symbols and Flags in the U.S. Manned Space Program

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

One of the most memorable images from the Apollo missions to the moon is the picture of the astronaut standing next to the U.S. flag.  Throughout the history of America’s space program flags have been prevalent symbols on space suits, spacecraft, and mission patches.  Since the early days of manned space flight “flown” flags have been used as mementos to commemorate important flights and to recognize the contributions of individuals to the success of the program.  Other symbols besides flags also have played an important role as the program has evolved.  This paper will discuss some of the ways that flags have been used in the manned space program, unique flags that have been used to represent the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its programs, and other symbols unique to NASA.

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