Here’s something you probably didn’t realize: there were six American flags left behind on the moon, but by now they’re all bleached white.
According to NASA, from a bulletin posted back in 2012, the almost certain status of the six American flags left on the moon is that they have bleached entirely white. Why? The biggest reason is due to the massive amount of Ultraviolet rays bombarding the cloth from which the flags were made. The incredible temperature swings from 242 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to -280 degrees Fahrenheit during the night probably didn’t help.
The good news? NASA believes that at least five of the six flags are still standing exactly where they were planted. So even if they’re no longer boasting the vibrant red, white, and blue, they’re still standing strong. According to astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11’s flag, which was the first to be planted, was knocked over when the astronauts departed.
Bonus trivia: if you’re wondering whether the name for the Six Flags theme parks comes from the fact that there are six flags on the moon, that’s not the origin. The amusement company was founded in Texas and the name refers to the six different flags that have flown over the state. During its relatively short history, those were Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States, and the Confederate States of America.