These photos show that the shadows of the flags are still there. There's even a video showing how the shadows change as the Moon rotates. Indeed, all of them are standing up except the one left by Armstrong and Aldrin, the first two men on the Moon. The Apollo 11 lunar module crew placed the flag too close to their spacecraft and, according to Buzz Aldrin himself, it was blown away as they blasted off to rendezvous with Michael Collins, on board Columbia, their Command and Service Module orbiting the Moon.

We come in peace

So America f*ck yeah, right? Not quite. While the $5.50 nylon flags are still waving on the windless orb, they are not flags of the United States of America anymore. All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and stripes disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago.


According to lunar scientist Paul Spudis:

For forty-odd years, the flags have been exposed to the full fury of the Moon's environment – alternating 14 days of searing sunlight and 100° C heat with 14 days of numbing-cold -150° C darkness. But even more damaging is the intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the pure unfiltered sunlight on the cloth (modal) from which the Apollo flags were made. Even on Earth, the colors of a cloth flag flown in bright sunlight for many years will eventually fade and need to be replaced. So it is likely that these symbols of American achievement have been rendered blank, bleached white by the UV radiation of unfiltered sunlight on the lunar surface. Some of them may even have begun to physically disintegrate under the intense flux.


Robinson and Lacarruba agree with Spudis.


So, at the end, it turns out that the commemorative plaque left by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins on the Eagle's descent stage, left on the surface of the Moon, was right:

Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon.
July 1969, A.D.
We came in peace for all mankind.

Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin

We came in peace indeed. And here's the flag to prove it.

Now, take us to your leader.