Stars on the Flag

Written by Alex Fisher, The Blake School

One problem that caught my interest recently involves the US flag.  This is actually one I rediscovered from back in 2012 when Puerto Rico was considering becoming a state and there was much discussion online of how you add a star to the flag in such a scenario.  If you look at the stars on the current flag, you’ll see that there are 5 rows of 6 stars, with another 4 rows of 5 stars between them.  

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If you were to keep this pattern, where a larger grid contains a smaller grid nestled between its rows, what numbers can you represent?  Can you make one that has 51 stars?  How about 49?  And which numbers can be represented in more than one arrangement?

Answer to follow next week!

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