Was this ever an actual U.S. flag?

I know my historic American flags pretty well, and I admit I’d never seen this one, other than on the cover of some editions of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff:


Other than the notation, “Jacket design by Kiyoshi Kanai,” the book jacket has no further info. Was the flag just cooked up by the cover designer? Did NASA ever make use of such a flag? Have any Dopers ever seen one in real life?

Perhaps the flag was a riff of of this Apollo 11 patch.

Is that supposed to be the Earth on that patch? :confused: Yeah, I recognize Central America and part of South America, but really, they could have done a better job of it.

This may be a bit tangential, but the NY Times just published an article on The Institute of Heraldry[sup]*[/sup] , the folks responsible for the design of government seals, medals, decorations, insignia, flags, &c. If anyone else found the OP interesting, they’ll likely find the article interesting as well (you can also visit the Institute of Heraldry directly).

[sup]*NY Times article, requires free registration.[/sup]

I would second the OP. I am familiar with US flags, and I have never seen anything like this before.

Thanks for the link to the article. I find the idea of these obscure little federal departments fascinating.

It’s an eagle landing on the moon.

I don’t see any reason to believe that the design is anything other than something that the jacket designer or the book publisher just made up. It’s combining the American flag with a version of the symbols on the Apollo mission patch.