19

In Marvel's Daredevil there have been scenes where a 48-star US flag is shown (instead of the 50-star flag which in the real world has been in use since the late 1950s).

Here's an example from season 2, episode 7 of Daredevil, the 48-star flag is on the wall behind Foggy Nelson & Karen page:

Foggy and Karen in court

Why is this flag used? Is this consistent with the rest of the MCU? Marvel-related films & TV normally seem to have a very high attention to detail, so it seems this is in there for some specific reason - even if it could be a somewhat secondary detail.

  • 7
    The flag's in some kind of display case or frame, not standing on a pole. That might indicate it's historically relevant to that particular courthouse. Can you find some more pics of the flag in use outside of that one location? – SpaceWolf1701 Aug 27 '19 at 2:15
  • 4
    The question has already been asked in another SE site: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/50816/why-only-48-stars. – Taladris Aug 27 '19 at 2:33
  • @taladris thanks, my search didn't turn that up when I tried... – UuDdLrLrSs Aug 27 '19 at 10:08
  • @DaveInCaz: you are welcome. This picture (imgur.com/hoFtWaI) shows a free flag that seems to have 50 stars. This supports the claim that the 48-stars flag is only in the courthouse for historical reason. (picture found via Reddit: reddit.com/r/television/comments/4bkeo3/…) – Taladris Aug 27 '19 at 15:30
  • @Taladris ... although the answer on that post is wrong, as pointed out by user14111 in comments. – Rand al'Thor Aug 27 '19 at 16:47
11

It's actually fairly common to see displays of this type, usually with a flag that was current at the time the building where the flag is displayed was completed. Over the past fifty years, I've seen them in public schools, courthouses, and police stations, just to name the ones I recall immediately. Flag code aside, whether it's "correct" or not, it's done a lot.

The key point is, the flag so displayed is generally from the time when the building was completed, and may actually be one that was flown on opening day. Hence, in a courthouse in New York City, one might reasonably see a flag dating back to the period between 1912 (when New Mexico joined the union) and 1959 (when Alaska and Hawaii came in). There was a great deal of growth in the Big Apple in that period, including much rebuilding (demolition of old buildings to make way for new); most of what are considered the "new" city, county, and state buildings are from that period.

Therefore, seeing a 48-star flag in a courtroom in NYC doesn't seem all that out of the ordinary.

  • But this was a deliberate choice by a set designer, and it features very prominently in the cinematography. While it might just be for realism, Marvel tends to include details that have meaning. – UuDdLrLrSs Aug 27 '19 at 16:47
  • 1
    @DaveInCaz It places the courthouse as being more than sixty years old (as is reasonable in Hell's Kitchen, where Daredevil is set), and may suggest a link to older values than the "profit is everything" we see so much -- but I don't know that for sure, so it's not part of the answer. – Zeiss Ikon Aug 27 '19 at 17:49
  • I could see that, certainly. – UuDdLrLrSs Aug 27 '19 at 18:16
  • Actually Arizona was the 48th state, although both NM and AZ were admitted in 1912, and the 47th and 48th stars were added to the flag at the same time. – user14111 Aug 27 '19 at 21:53
5

Whatever the specific reason the 48-star flag was used in the courtroom, it is not the standard flag used in general in the Daredevil series.

For example, here's a standard 50 star flag shown in season 2 episode 1, inside the police station (@09:30): enter image description here

Zoom of the stars:

enter image description here

You can also make out a fragment of what looks to also be a 50 star flag in this Josie's Bar scene in season 2 episode 1 (@17:57):

enter image description here

So theories like "the USA in the MCU doesn't have 50 states" don't seem to have any merit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.