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Flag Kits & Official Flight Kits [OFKs]

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As with the personal items carried by the astronauts in their PPKs, NASA too had items carried on board the Apollo missions. These flown mementos - usually small flags - were intended for use in presentations to those involved in the space program, as well as to US and foreign dignitaries.

Very little information is available regarding how much material was flown by NASA on each mission, but below I have gathered together all available references to flag kits and Official Flight Kits (OFKs) from the stowage lists and press kits of Apollo 11 through 17, with an additional entry from Apollo 7 discovered more recently.




Apollo 7

The Apollo 7 flag kit is is not mentioned in the Press Kit, but is explicitly listed in the Stowage List.

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
125 SEB12100067-301 FLAG KIT 2.5 1 R10

Apollo 7 Stowage List (Rev D.) - Flag Kit entry

Note that this is sigfnificantly heavier than flag kits mentioned on later Apollo flights.


Apollo 11

I have not seen any reference to an OFK or flag kit in the Apollo 11 stowage lists, but then the lunar surface flag is not listed either. The flag kit is detailed in the Press Kit as follows:

The Apollo 11 crew will also carry to the Moon and return two large American flags, flags of the 50 states, District of Columbia and U.S. Territories, flags of other nations and that of the United Nations Organization.

Apollo 11 Press Kit - page 2 - Mention of flag kit

It is not possible to tell from this where the flags were carried, whether on the Lunar Module or on the Command Module, but since all subsequent flight (prior to Apollo 17) carried the flag kit in the LM it seems likely that this was also done with Apollo 11.


Apollo 12

The Apollo 12 flag kit is detailed in the Press Kit as follows:

Additionally, flags of 136 nations, UN Organization, 50 United States and four U.S. possessions will be aboard the lunar module for Apollo 12.

Apollo 12 Press Kit - page 5 - Mention of flag kit

The flag kit is also explicitly listed in the Stowage List, installed at launch time in the Lunar Module, and transferred back to the CM after the landing.

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
A 1038. SEB12100018-202 BAG, FLAG KIT (PPK CONT.) NEG. 1 LM AT LAUNCH
A 1000.1 SEB39105066-001 FLAG KIT .7 1 LM AT LAUNCH IN ITEM A1038

Apollo 12 Stowage List - Flag Kit entries compiled from Lists A, B and C

Note that the kit itself is stored inside a regular PPK bag which is itemised separately. In later flights PPK bags were occasionally used to carry other equipment but these are not really PPK items.


Apollo 13

The Apollo 13 flag kit is detailed in the Press Kit as follows:

Also carried on the mission and returned to Earth will be 25 United States and 50 individual state flags, each 4x6 inches.

Apollo 13 Press Kit - page 73 - Mention of flag kit

The flag kit is also explicitly listed in the Stowage List, installed at launch time in the Lunar Module.

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
N 1002. SEB12100018-202 FLAG KIT, SYMBOLIC .9 1 LM AT LAUNCH
N 1002.1 SEB39105066-001 FLAG KIT ASSY, STATE 1 LM AT LAUNCH IN ITEM N 1002

Apollo 13 Stowage List - Flag Kit entries compiled from Lists A, B and C


Apollo 14

The Apollo 14 flag kit is detailed in the Press Kit as follows:

Also carried on the mission and returned to Earth will be 25 United States flags, 50 individual state flags, flags of United States territories and flags of all UN members, each four by six inches.

Apollo 14 Press Kit - page 86 - Mention of flag kit

The flag kit is also explicitly listed in the Stowage List, installed at launch time in the Lunar Module.

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
N 1002. SEB39107094-301 FLAG KIT, STANDARD .8 1 LM AT LAUNCH

Apollo 14 Stowage List - Flag Kit entries compiled from Lists A, B and C


Apollo 15

The Apollo 15 flag kit is detailed in the Press Kit as follows:

Also carried on the mission and returned to Earth will be 25 United States, 50 individual state flags, flags of United States territories and flags of all United Nations members, each four by six inches.

Apollo 15 Press Kit - page 129 - Mention of flag kit

The flag kit is also explicitly listed in the Stowage List, installed at launch time in the Lunar Module.

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
N 1002. SEB39107094-301 FLAG KIT, STANDARD .8 1 LM AT LAUNCH

Apollo 15 Stowage List - Flag Kit entries compiled from Lists A, B and C

Although the LM PPK was accidentally left behind on the Lunar Module during the mission we do not know if the flag kit shared its fate. Irwin does not explicitly mention the flag kit in his description of the incident.


Apollo 16

The Apollo 16 flag kit is detailed in the Press Kit as follows:

Also carried on the mission and returned to Earth will be 25 United States flags, 50 individual state flags, flags of United States territories, flags of other national states which are generally accepted as independent in the world community, and flags of the United Nations and other international organizations. These flags are 10 by 15cm (four by six inches).

Apollo 16 Press Kit - page 137 - Mention of flag kit

In a break from previous flights, Apollo 16 has two flag kits explicitly listed in the Stowage List, one installed at launch time in the Lunar Module as before and a second kit installed in the Command Module.

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
A 0171. SEB1210018-202 PPK (CM FLAG KIT) .9 1 CM AT LAUNCH
N 1002. SEB39107094-301 FLAG KIT, STANDARD .9 1 LM AT LAUNCH

Apollo 16 Stowage List - Flag Kit entries compiled from Lists A, B and C

For whatever reason, NASA decided to carry a complete second flag kit on Apollo 16 but in the Command Module rather than the Lunar Module.


Apollo 17

The Apollo 17 flag kit is not mentioned in the Press Kit but the rules on flown mementos had been changed for Apollo 17 with the introduction of the Official Flight Kit (weighing-in at 13.5lb / 6.1kg) which was intended to contain all NASA souvenirs (including flags).

ITEM NUMBER PART NUMBER NOMENCLATURE UNIT WEIGHT QTY/ SC STOWAGE LOCATION
A 0180. SEC12100087-301 KIT, OFFICIAL FLIGHT (OFK) (PACKAGED IN 10 BAGS) 13.5 1 CM AT LAUNCH

Apollo 17 Stowage List - Official Flight Kit entries compiled from Lists A, B and C

Unlike all prior lunar landing missions, Apollo 17 did not carry a flag kit in the lunar module.

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