51 Stars American Flag

51 or 52 States in the United States of America

Actual Number of States in the United States of America: 50 States

The United States of America (USA) sometimes shortened as United States (U.S.) or just America is composed of 50 states and a federal district (Washington, D.C). The USA also has a number of unincorporated territories. These include islands such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa to name a few. The states are represented as stars on the flag. The last state (50) to be added was Hawaii in 1959.

Remembering that the US has 51 or 52 states is a common Mandela Effect, seemingly from people even living in the US, although if the responses are to be believed online, it appears as though this misconception is generally coming from non-US residents. I first heard about about it on the Mandela Effect website.

Many of these people seem to think that Washington, D.C. might be a state (51) rather than a separate district, while others may assume one of the territories is a state such as Puerto Rico. Sometimes both of these are believed, equalling the 52 states.

My Experience

51 seems correct to me. I’m not sure why or where I started to believe this, or even if I did at all. Perhaps the article itself changed my memory based on lack of knowledge. It seems to me that I have a fuzzy memory of 51, but perhaps because of some of the reasons I explain in the possible explanations.

Possible Explanations

The 51st state is a common phrase used in politics that is applied to external territories as well as parts of existing states which would be admitted as separate states. These include the unincorporated territories as well as Washington D.C. There’s even a version of the flag showing a 51st star. If you perform Google searches of things such as “Puerto Rico 51st state” or “Washington D.C. 51st state” you will get tons of news article talking about a potential inclusion of those two examples as the 51st state.

50 appears to be a more strict, rounded number. It almost seems to be too perfect for something so complex as the number of states. Our brains automatically thinks that this nice round number simply cannot be correct, so we go to the next logical step of 51. For example, would you believe there is 200 different countries in the world? Or would it seem more correct if there was 201, or 202, or maybe even 203? As of writing there is actually 196 countries in the world, this was just an example of a possible effect happening.

Alaska and Hawaii, two official states are disconnected from the main American landmass. This factoid may be a source of the confusion in assuming that the disconnected states are the two extra instead of included in the 50.

There is 52 cards in a deck of cards. This fact may have been learned while growing up or studying, perhaps around the same time you learned that there is 50 states. Perhaps these memories are getting reversed or replacing one another.

Additional Sources

52 States in America (Subreddit)

91 thoughts on “51 or 52 States in the United States of America

  1. Officially there are 50 states, but there are jokes on how Texas will secede again and become its own country. Those are only jokes. There’s too much oil to for us to leave without some resistance from the rest of the US.

    • Puerto Rico as actually voted to become a state. This vote happened in 2017 due to red tape and such it will probably not take effect in till 2020 at least. Also also a nor Hawaii chose to be a state in an.election. California is proposing a split into three states meaning that we may go to 52 official y before 51. And soon after go to 53

    • Don’t forget Washington, DC (Washington, District of Columbia). Washington, DC is USA OFFICIALLY.
      Don’t confused with the state: Washington, It supposed to be 51 states: Washington DC. It seems not happened for Washington, DC to become 51st state.

      • While Washington, DC, is an official US city, it is NOT in, nor is itself a state. This was done intentionally by the Founders, so that no state would have legal jurisdiction over the Federal District, and by extension, the Federal Government. It also was not a “city” until 1973, as it did not have a city government. It was overseen by “The Committee of the Whole”, a “committee” of the entire House of Representatives, which ruled as a massive city council for Washington, DC. This, as would be expected, proved to be unwieldy, and thus “home rule” was granted, and the DC City Council/Mayor was formed to take the place of the then present form of government.
        Long story short – Washington, DC, was not and never has been intended to be a state. Yes, there are efforts to make it one, but that was not the intent.

  2. The wolf is cunning with ulterior motives. laying in wait pretending to be a friend, gaining the confidence and being excepted as belonging. The wolf does not belong with the sheep. The sheep except the wolf. Game over man. game over. It was once written, but what was once written has now been written again. The conditioning to except evil as good and good as evil is being done as I speak. The ones that try to tell you your memory is wrong are the wolves. This isn’t cognitive dissonance man! this is a battle for your soul.

  3. My input on this is that I do clearly remember 52 as do many other people: however, this may be a mistaken memory since if I was really from a different timeline or universe or what have you, I would also remember the names of those other states and how the geographical maps would look wrong to my eyes, and they don’t. I don’t recall the names “New Brunswick” or “New Scotia” like one writer suggested, nor do I remember any state shapes or the general US shape being different on a map. I memorized all the state names as part of a memory technique book, but there are no traces of any other state names in my mind. I DO remember the time when thought to myself: “50 States? That sounds wrong and just too simple”. But I don’t remember: “Hey, what’s changed about the map!” Or “What happended to such and such a place?” Get my point? We would expect these corollary experiences to happen if this was some sort of true Mandela effect. We would also remember something about what happened in those states, or what they were known for like food, flowers, music, cities, etc. And why do some people remember 51 States and some 52?

    I am a very critical thinker, professionally trained Philospher, and believe there are many different kwaaazy truths being hid from the American people, e.g. Flat Earth, Hitler survived WWII, the fact that we didn’t go to the moon, ZOG, Atlantis, etc. But I spent a long time on each one of these and ended up changing my thinking from my previous traditional/establishment positions based on good, honest research and lots of uncomfortable facts. They are theories no doubt, but so are most of our beliefs–even if we claim to be ‘rational’ and ‘evidence-based’ thinkers. The world we know through sensory experience is very limited and we all rely on assumptions, inference, the opinions of trusted experts, faith, etc, for most of our worldview. This is basic epistemology. So trying to debunk possible other universes because ‘you can’t show me’ is really not clear thinking either. The new science on this stuff is scary.

    And for God’s sake if you still trust Google/CIA as a reference then you need to wake up and drink more coffee…

    But the Mandela Effect–however initially compelling–just isn’t cutting it for me so far. Convince me otherwise and I will change my mind.

  4. What a laim ass explanation, didn’t buy it, sounds like you trying too much, actually it more like you trying to convince yourself while trying to convince us

  5. I specifically remember that there are 52 states in the USA because I took a test and I remember the teacher kept telling us don’t forget to count Alaska and Hawaii which made it 52 states. Everyone else that keeps saying that it is 50 is mistaken and our history is being rewritten to change our memories. I used to think that, that was just some made up information trolling the internet but I am confident in my memory and no one can convince me that there are 50 states. Beware because your memory is being tampered with!

    • 1)Alabama
      2)Alaska
      3)Arizona
      4)Arkansas
      5)California
      6)Colorado
      7)Conneticut
      8)Delaware
      9)Florida
      10)Georgia
      11)Hawaii
      12)Idaho
      13)Illinois
      14)Indiana
      15)Iowa
      16)Kansas
      17)Kentuckey
      18)Lousianna
      19)Maine
      20)Maryland
      21)Massachusetts
      22)Michigan
      23)Minnesota
      24)Mississippi
      25)Missouri
      26)Montana
      27)Nebraska
      28)Nevada
      29)New Hampshire
      30)New Jersey
      31) New Mexico
      32) New York
      33) North Carolina
      34)North Dakota
      35)Ohio
      36)Oklahoma
      37)Oregon
      38)Pennsylvania
      39)Rhode Island
      40)South Carolina
      41)South Dakota
      42)Tenneesse
      43)Texas
      44)Utah
      45)Vermont
      46)Virginia
      47)Washington
      48)West Virginia
      49)Wisconsin
      50)Wyoming
      Still not convinced? o.k
      Delaware December 7, 1787[8]
      (ratified) Colony of Delaware[b]
      2 Pennsylvania December 12, 1787[10]
      (ratified) Proprietary Province of Pennsylvania
      3 New Jersey December 18, 1787[11]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of New Jersey
      4 Georgia January 2, 1788[8]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of Georgia
      5 Connecticut January 9, 1788[12]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of Connecticut
      6 Massachusetts February 6, 1788[8]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of Massachusetts Bay
      7 Maryland April 28, 1788[8]
      (ratified) Proprietary Province of Maryland
      8 South Carolina May 23, 1788[8]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of South Carolina
      9 New Hampshire June 21, 1788[8]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of New Hampshire
      10 Virginia June 25, 1788[8]
      (ratified) Crown Colony and Dominion of Virginia
      11 New York July 26, 1788[13]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of New York
      12 North Carolina November 21, 1789[14]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of North Carolina
      13 Rhode Island May 29, 1790[8]
      (ratified) Crown Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
      14 Vermont March 4, 1791[15]
      (admitted) Vermont Republic[c]
      15 Kentucky June 1, 1792[16]
      (admitted) Virginia (nine counties in its District of Kentucky[d])
      16 Tennessee June 1, 1796[18]
      (admitted) Southwest Territory
      17 Ohio March 1, 1803[19][e]
      (admitted) Northwest Territory (part)
      18 Louisiana April 30, 1812[21]
      (admitted) Territory of Orleans
      19 Indiana December 11, 1816
      (admitted) Indiana Territory
      20 Mississippi December 10, 1817[22]
      (admitted) Mississippi Territory
      21 Illinois December 3, 1818[23]
      (admitted) Illinois Territory (part)
      22 Alabama December 14, 1819[24]
      (admitted) Alabama Territory
      23 Maine March 15, 1820[25]
      (admitted) Massachusetts (District of Maine[f])
      24 Missouri August 10, 1821[26]
      (admitted) Missouri Territory (part)
      25 Arkansas June 15, 1836[27]
      (admitted) Arkansas Territory
      26 Michigan January 26, 1837[28]
      (admitted) Michigan Territory
      27 Florida March 3, 1845
      (admitted) Florida Territory
      28 Texas December 29, 1845
      (admitted) Republic of Texas
      29 Iowa December 28, 1846
      (admitted) Iowa Territory (part)
      30 Wisconsin May 29, 1848[29]
      (admitted) Wisconsin Territory (part)
      31 California September 9, 1850[30]
      (admitted) unorganized territory (part)
      32 Minnesota May 11, 1858[31]
      (admitted) Minnesota Territory (part)
      33 Oregon February 14, 1859
      (admitted) Oregon Territory (part)
      34 Kansas January 29, 1861[32]
      (admitted) Kansas Territory (part)
      35 West Virginia June 20, 1863[33]
      (admitted) Virginia (50 Trans-Allegheny region counties[g])
      36 Nevada October 31, 1864
      (admitted) Nevada Territory
      37 Nebraska March 1, 1867
      (admitted) Nebraska Territory
      38 Colorado August 1, 1876[36]
      (admitted) Colorado Territory
      39[h] North Dakota November 2, 1889[38][i]
      (admitted) Dakota Territory (part)
      40 South Dakota November 2, 1889[38][i]
      (admitted) Dakota Territory (part)
      41 Montana November 8, 1889[39]
      (admitted) Montana Territory
      42 Washington November 11, 1889[40]
      (admitted) Washington Territory
      43 Idaho July 3, 1890
      (admitted) Idaho Territory
      44 Wyoming July 10, 1890
      (admitted) Wyoming Territory
      45 Utah January 4, 1896[41]
      (admitted) Utah Territory
      46 Oklahoma November 16, 1907[42]
      (admitted) Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory
      47 New Mexico January 6, 1912
      (admitted) New Mexico Territory
      48 Arizona February 14, 1912
      (admitted) Arizona Territory
      49 Alaska January 3, 1959
      (admitted) Territory of Alaska
      50 Hawaii August 21, 1959
      (admitted) Territory of Hawaii

  6. I was about 7 or 8 years old when we had 52 States. The teachers and principal showed us the flag shortly before summer vacation came.
    By time we the (class) came back we asked about the flag.. they teachers and principal that were so proud of this flag maybe for months before looked at us like we were crazy

  7. 1)Alabama
    2)Alaska
    3)Arizona
    4)Arkansas
    5)California
    6)Colorado
    7)Conneticut
    8)Delaware
    9)Florida
    10)Georgia
    11)Hawaii
    12)Idaho
    13)Illinois
    14)Indiana
    15)Iowa
    16)Kansas
    17)Kentuckey
    18)Lousianna
    19)Maine
    20)Maryland
    21)Massachusetts
    22)Michigan
    23)Minnesota
    24)Mississippi
    25)Missouri
    26)Montana
    27)Nebraska
    28)Nevada
    29)New Hampshire
    30)New Jersey
    31) New Mexico
    32) New York
    33) North Carolina
    34)North Dakota
    35)Ohio
    36)Oklahoma
    37)Oregon
    38)Pennsylvania
    39)Rhode Island
    40)South Carolina
    41)South Dakota
    42)Tenneesse
    43)Texas
    44)Utah
    45)Vermont
    46)Virginia
    47)Washington
    48)West Virginia
    49)Wisconsin
    50)Wyoming

  8. well ! For a reason I had to argue that the battle flag for the south was not a treason loss but a mistake of a past of wrong beliefs . 13 stars for a lot of mistakes or could the 13 be as simple as the colonist whom did not accept the King , Queen RULE ! I believe as a people we should be looking at things of fake news , and show some love for true Americans! Before we lose some more, OR MORE THAN JUST, STARS! UHH?

  9. First off we never had 52 states officially. It is literally called “51st state” They at times included promising places/in process of becoming. For example if some they allowed us to sell Hawii to the UK it would not longer be a state. It is honestly basic history. If you think the flag has never been changed over time you are just flat out dumb. Go pickup a history book.


    The 50 states and the District of Columbia
    Incorporated, unorganized territory
    Unincorporated territory with Commonwealth status
    Unincorporated, organized territory
    Unincorporated, unorganized territory
    American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are the inhabited U.S. territories

    51-star flags have been designed and used as a symbol by supporters of statehood in various areas. This is an example of how a 51-star flag might look.
    The “51st state”, in post-1959 American political discourse, is a phrase that refers to areas or locales that are – seriously or facetiously – considered candidates for U.S. statehood, joining the 50 states that presently compose the United States. The phrase has been applied to external territories as well as parts of existing states which would be admitted as separate states in their own right.”

  10. I have a distinct memory of 52 states also. Ok so let’s say I merged into this timeline somewhere along the way- then what the heck happened to the me already on this timeline???

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