The One And Only Time Star Trek: The Original Series Showed The Federation Flag – SlashFilm


“And the Children Shall Lead” is actually about a group of kids, all under 12, who have been manipulated by a charismatic ghost alien (played by real-life lawyer Melvin Belli) into murdering their parents and, later, taking over the Enterprise. The episode’s early scenes see the children obliviously playing tag among their parents’ graves, and one of them knocks over a UFP pennant. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) hoists it up and replants it in the dirt.

The UFP pennant would be the only on-screen Federation flag in “Star Trek” until “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in 1982. Naturally, enterprising fans would make their own pennants, and expanded universe lore and nerdy sourcebooks would have plenty of diagrams explaining the pennant and its meaning. In Joseph Franz’s 1975 book “Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual,” the pennant was sketched out in detail, but in black and white, explaining that the lettering should be white and the stars should be silver. This color description, as one can see above, doesn’t match the on-screen version from “Children.” There is no explanation as to why there are 13 stars on the pennant, as the Federation was founded by four worlds: Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, and Tellar. 

In the episode “The Ultimate Computer” (March 8, 1968), an eagle-eyed Trekkie might notice the UFP pennant painted on the exterior of a Federation space station, but know that it was added digitally when the effects for the episode were remastered. “Children” came later in the series, but is still the first appearance of the UFP flag. 

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