DC Comics fans are still watching and rewatching Justice League while hoping that Zack Snyder’s cut of the film eventually sees the light of day. Perhaps that version of the film could explain why Alaska and Hawaii are apparently not part of the United States of America in the DC Extended Universe.
As noted by a Reddit user, this is seemingly revealed in the scene where Commissioner Jim Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department (JK Simmons) is introduced. Gordon stands at a podium with an American flag behind him, but the flag only has 48 stars.
The 48-star flag hasn’t been used since 1959 after Alaska became the 49th state. Technically, flag code requires a flag, even an outdated flag, be used and until it is worn out instead of simply being replaced. While virtually all outdoor flags have been worn down and replaced in the 58 years since the last flag update, there is some small chance that a 48-star flag could still be in good enough condition to use if it has been kept indoors, though it would be a fairly odd choice to use that specific flag behind a public official during a public address.
The other option is that Alaska and Hawaii simply are not part of the United States, and either they never were or have since left.
It could also simply be a mistake on the part of the filmmakers, but an outdated flag seems like the kind of thing you’d have to specifically go looking for rather than an item you just pick up by mistake.
Could the Snyder cut of the film hold answers to this mystery of the missing states? It is hard to say, especially based on the state the Snyder cut is said to be in, based on what storyboard artist Jay Oliva has said.
“Well, I wouldn’t discount Zack having a trailer ready. He’s really good at cutting trailers, but I don’t think he’s been working on Justice League since I’m sure he has a cut he’s happy with that he screened to execs way back in the editing of Justice League prior to [Joss] Whedon,” Oliva said. “That’s what the whole movement is about. It’s not about finishing the film it’s about showing the fans of Zack’s universe established in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman the more accurate representation of where the story was supposed to go.”