Creator of First 50-Star American Flag Dies

SAGINAW, Mich — Robert G. “Bob” Heft, who is credited with designing and sewing the first 50-star American flag, has died. He was 67.

Wakeman Funeral Home says Heft died Saturday at a hospital in Saginaw. A cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

Heft made the flag in 1958 as part of a high school history project in Lancaster, Ohio. He spent more than 12 hours sewing the design on his mother’s Singer sewing machine.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Heft’s design to replace the 48-star flag.

Born in Saginaw, Heft left Michigan after his parents separated when he was about a year old. He returned after retiring from Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio, where he was a professor.

Heft’s death was first reported by WSGW-AM in Saginaw.

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