“A small telescoping arm was attached to the flagpole to keep the flag extended and perpendicular. As hard as the astronauts tried, the telescope wouldn’t fully extend. Thus the flag which should have been flat had its own permanent wave.”
The wrong coating had been applied to the telescoping rod, so it wouldn’t fully extend, which is why the flag looks like it is waving in the wind. 🙂 🙂 🙂
You don’t need oxygen, or other gas molecules such as in air, to have the flag moving or fluttering.
The momentum transferred by a person when planting the flag is enough to move it.
In fact the flag may even move more in a vacuum (very little gas molecules – like in space) because of lower gas resistance.
Check out this video where they show it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMBCfuKs9i8