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Dismal-Philosopher-4 t1_iryum41 wrote

The US has only recognised communist China since 1978 so I assume they considered this the Chinese flag at the time.


The51stDivision t1_irz4lyd wrote

Not just the US, but the entire United Nations. The Republic of China was on the Security Council until 1971. So during the time of Apollo 11 this flag (for the western world) represented China.


AmishRocket t1_irxsb0k wrote

To help share humanity’s historic accomplishment, President Nixon gifted flags and lunar samples to all member nations of the United Nations as well as each of the fifty U.S. states. The flags were aboard the command module Columbia with Mike Collins as it orbited the moon.


RoterFuchs1994 t1_irxwssu wrote

How much weight would that have added?


freiheitfitness t1_irxyxri wrote

The entire flag kit (which included 25 US flags along with 6x4” flags of 136 nations, UN Organization, 50 United States) was .75lbs.


RoterFuchs1994 t1_iry783k wrote

Less than a pound? That's amazing.


AmishRocket t1_irzfatd wrote

Yes, but …

They had other material in the official kits as well, such as beta crew patches, additional flags, etc. And each astronaut was allowed a small inventory of personal artifacts for which there isn’t a manifest. Considering Neil and Buzz left their boots on the lunar surface due to weight concerns, you get an idea of how critical every pound was.

After the enormous treasure and lives lost to get the crew to the moon, they returned with less than 50 pounds of lunar rocks and soil crammed into their little capsule. Precious little. (There is a legend that all three were told if any of them gained five pounds before the flight, they would be scrubbed from the mission.)


Emble12 t1_irzgmdy wrote

How did they get the boots outside if there wasn’t an airlock on the LM?


danzelectric t1_is0lw1z wrote

Most called them moon boots. They slipped over the shoes worn in the spaceship, like galoshes for the rain


Emble12 t1_is0m31l wrote

Ah, so they weren’t pressurised?


AmishRocket t1_is0n1oq wrote

Nope. The boots were overshoes. Something like galoshes that gave them extra protection and traction while walking on the moon. (But I like to think they could just toss things out of the lunar lander’s screen door. /s)


AmishRocket t1_irxyrqd wrote

I don’t have that info. But that’s why most of the trinkets like this flag stayed with Mike Collins. The lunar lander didn’t have the capacity (room or fuel) to take them all the way to the moon’s surface and back. I mean, Buzz and Neil left lots of equipment and waste on the lunar surface just so they’d be able to get the lunar samples back to rendezvous.


skeith2011 t1_irxzob2 wrote

So a cotton shirt weighs about 5oz on average, which is 0.3125 pounds. Let’s say that the flag would take only 20% (i.e. 1 shirt makes 5 flags) of the shirt fabric to make one, which gives 0.0625 pounds.

In 1969 when Apollo 11 launched, there were 126 nations in the UN. Adding the 50 states gives a total amount of 176 flags on board the spacecraft.

176 flags times 0.0625 pounds per flag gives 11 pounds total. Kind of a negligible amount.


giant2179 t1_irxz9ej wrote

Here's my best guesstimate: the flag looks pretty small, maybe 9" max on each side. The lightest weight cotton cloth for handkerchief is around 3 oz/sq yd. (135 countries+50 states)/16 flags/sq.yd.*3oz/yd=34.7oz or roughly one kilogram. So not a lot, but not trivial in terms of space travel. Also much lighter than one lunar flag kit for the American flag that was planted, which weighed 4.3kg


Federal_Bedroom_5743 t1_iryb9bf wrote

btw, Taiwan was not and is not part of the United Nations.


AmishRocket t1_iryiusu wrote

Taiwan, as the Republic of China, was a founding member of the UN in 1945. Like everything else between Taiwan and the Peoples Republic of China, things got complicated over the ensuring years.

Edit to add: the US didn’t have formal relations with PRC in 1969. Nixon reestablished formal relations in 1972.


ordenstaat_burgund t1_is0u78j wrote

So it was the flag of China, not Taiwan. Which back then was a one party dictatorship ruled by the Chiang family.


TheKingPotat t1_iryhlbm wrote

The republic of china (now entirely in taiwan) was one of the founding members and used to hold the seat on the security council today held by the people’s republic of china


ordenstaat_burgund t1_is0x0pd wrote

It’s not though. Kinmen, Matsu, and Taiping islands are not near Taiwan but still occupied by it.


TheKingPotat t1_is1ljg5 wrote

Ive never actually heard of those islands before. I just knew taiwan cus thats the big population area


ordenstaat_burgund t1_is23it7 wrote

The ROC government held onto many islands including Hainan and Zhoushan which they lost in late 50s to the PRC.

That’s why the ROC still has 2 provinces today, Province of Taiwan and Province of Fujian. If they had kept Hainan and Zhoushan too, ROC today would have had 4 provinces.

The recent news about “Chinese drones invading Taiwanese airspace” was actually a civilian DJI flown from Xiamen to Kinmen (which are 1.5km apart). In fact any time a commercial airline flies out from Xiamen, it’s “violating Taiwanese air space.” Kinmen is 150km away from the island of Taiwan.


Federal_Bedroom_5743 t1_iryiu5y wrote

I assume the US took the wrong/old flag since they never recognized the PRC at the time.


Neganova t1_iryso3l wrote

Both the article and even the thumbnail on Reddit show the correct flag of Taiwan, used then and used today: white sun on blue background and a field of red.


PeekaB00_ t1_iryqbbo wrote

Only for the same president to revoke recognition of Taiwan 10 years later.


AmishRocket t1_irz0xdt wrote

Ten years later? That wasn’t Nixon. That was Jimmy Carter.


PeekaB00_ t1_is2udzq wrote

Oops, I was thinking of when Nexon visited China in 72.


AaliyahK12 t1_irxpq55 wrote

China probably claims that little corner of the museum too.


madgoblin92 t1_is0blvs wrote

"The flag of China" at that time. This was the de jure flag of China during the Apollo mission. It's aghast how little Reddit understands the history of China but likes to stir up political debates and gives political opinions on China.


baitXtheXnoose t1_iryb34k wrote

I recently visited the Archeological museum in Athens, Greece and they had had the Greek version of this! I thought it was very cool to see.


criffidier t1_iryamv9 wrote

Amazing feat considering Taiwan does not exist.

This msg brought to you by president xi


4thDevilsAdvocate t1_irygwzd wrote

Indeed. There's no such thing as Taiwan.

There's China, and then there's West China.


Mitthrawnuruo t1_iryz9ef wrote

The agree with him. Taiwan is the lawful government of the Republic of China, which makes up not only the island, but the Main Land.