James A. McDivitt
Edward H. White

3-7 June 1965

Gemini 4

"Ed White and I used the American flag on our shoulders as our patch. This was the first time the American flag had been worn on a pressure suit and it has continued to be used there ever since. The original flags we had sewn on we purchased ourselves. Later on, of course, NASA made this an integral part of the pressure suit."

--Jim McDivitt, from All We Did Was Fly to the Moon

The crew of Gemini 4, denied the opportunity to name their spacecraft (they wanted to use the name "American Eagle"), decided instead to use the American flag as their mission patch. The flag was sewn onto the left shoulder of their space suit (as seen on the photos below), and this has remained the placement since. For Gemini missions the mission patches used thereafter were worn on the right shoulder or right breast.

McDivitt flag White flag

Shoulder of Jim McDivitt's Gemini 4 space suit.

Left side of Ed White's Gemini 4 space suit.

Detail of stitching
Detail of above photo of McDivitt's suit. The cover layers of both McDivitt's and White's suits have been replaced, as the originals had deteriorated. (Kozloski, pp. 171-174) The rough stitching affixing the flag to McDivitt's suit is similar to that of the original. All photos taken April 2000 at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

This page copyright © 2000-2006 Eugene Dorr.
All rights reserved.