Flags of the U.S. states

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The flags of the U.S. states exhibit a wide variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as widely different styles and design principles. Modern state flags date from the 1890s when states wanted to have distinctive symbols at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Most state flags were designed and adopted between 1893 and World War I.[1]

According to a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Association, New Mexico has the best-designed flag of any U.S. state, U.S. territory, or Canadian province, while Georgia's state flag was rated the worst design.[2] (Georgia adopted a new flag in 2003; Nebraska's state flag, whose design was rated second worst, remains in use to date.) About half the flags have a common "seal on a bed sheet" design, wherein the state seal is simply put on a solid, usually blue, background. Such flags consistently get the lowest ranks from the Vexillological Association.

Current state flags[edit]

Dates in parentheses denote when the flag was adopted by the state's legislature.

Flag of Alabama(February 16, 1895)[3]
Flag of Alabama
(February 16, 1895)[3]
Flag of Alaska(July 6, 1927)
Flag of Alaska
(July 6, 1927)
Flag of Arizona(January 25, 1917)
Flag of Arizona
(January 25, 1917)
Flag of Arkansas(March 16, 1924)
Flag of Arkansas
(March 16, 1924)
Flag of California(February 3, 1911)
Flag of California
(February 3, 1911)
Flag of Colorado(December 4, 1911)
Flag of Colorado
(December 4, 1911)
Flag of Connecticut(September 9, 1897)
Flag of Connecticut
(September 9, 1897)
Flag of Delaware(May 10, 1913)
Flag of Delaware
(May 10, 1913)
Flag of Florida(May 21, 1985)
Flag of Florida
(May 21, 1985)
Flag of Georgia (February 19, 2003)
Flag of Georgia
(February 19, 2003)
Flag of Hawaii(December 29, 1845)
Flag of Hawaii
(December 29, 1845)
Flag of Idaho(November 2, 1957)
Flag of Idaho
(November 2, 1957)
Flag of Illinois (June 27, 1969)
Flag of Illinois
(June 27, 1969)
Flag of Indiana (October 21, 1917)
Flag of Indiana
(October 21, 1917)
Flag of Iowa (March 12, 1921)
Flag of Iowa
(March 12, 1921)
Flag of Kansas (September 22, 1961)
Flag of Kansas
(September 22, 1961)
Flag of Kentucky (March 26, 1918)
Flag of Kentucky
(March 26, 1918)
Flag of Louisiana (May 7, 2006)
Flag of Louisiana
(May 7, 2006)
Flag of Maine (June 16, 1909)
Flag of Maine
(June 16, 1909)
Flag of Maryland (November 25, 1904)
Flag of Maryland
(November 25, 1904)
Flag of Massachusetts (March 21, 1971)
Flag of Massachusetts
(March 21, 1971)
Flag of Michigan (June 26, 1911)
Flag of Michigan
(June 26, 1911)
Flag of Minnesota (August 2, 1983)
Flag of Minnesota
(August 2, 1983)
Flag of Mississippi (April 23, 1894)
Flag of Mississippi
(April 23, 1894)
Flag of Missouri (September 4, 1913)
Flag of Missouri
(September 4, 1913)
Flag of Montana (December 17, 1981)
Flag of Montana
(December 17, 1981)
Flag of Nebraska (July 16, 1963)
Flag of Nebraska
(July 16, 1963)
Flag of Nevada (July 25, 1991)
Flag of Nevada
(July 25, 1991)
Flag of New Hampshire (November 30, 1931)
Flag of New Hampshire
(November 30, 1931)
Flag of New Jersey (January 15, 1896)
Flag of New Jersey
(January 15, 1896)
Flag of New Mexico (September 18, 1920)
Flag of New Mexico
(September 18, 1920)
Flag of New York (April 1, 1901)
Flag of New York
(April 1, 1901)
Flag of North Carolina (March 2, 1885)[4]
Flag of North Carolina
(March 2, 1885)[4]
Flag of North Dakota (November 9, 1943)
Flag of North Dakota
(November 9, 1943)
Flag of Ohio (May 09, 1902)
Flag of Ohio
(May 09, 1902)
Flag of Oklahoma (April 21, 1925, standardized April 21, 2006)
Flag of Oklahoma
(April 21, 1925, standardized April 21, 2006)
Flag of Oregon (obverse)(April 15, 1925)[5]
Flag of Oregon (obverse)
(April 15, 1925)[5]
Flag of Oregon (reverse)
Flag of Oregon (reverse)
Flag of Pennsylvania(April 24, 1907)
Flag of Pennsylvania
(April 24, 1907)
Flag of Rhode Island(July 27, 1640, formally November 1, 1897)
Flag of Rhode Island
(July 27, 1640, formally November 1, 1897)
Flag of South Carolina (September 28, 1861)
Flag of South Carolina
(September 28, 1861)
Flag of South Dakota (November 9, 1992)
Flag of South Dakota
(November 9, 1992)
Flag of Tennessee (February 3, 1905)
Flag of Tennessee
(February 3, 1905)
Flag of Texas (June 30, 1839)
Flag of Texas
(June 30, 1839)
Flag of Utah (December 21, 1913)[6]
Flag of Utah
(December 21, 1913)[6]
Flag of Vermont (April 17, 1923)
Flag of Vermont
(April 17, 1923)
Flag of Virginia (January 31, 1861)
Flag of Virginia
(January 31, 1861)
Flag of Washington[7] (August 25, 1923)
Flag of Washington[7]
(August 25, 1923)
Flag of West Virginia (November 6, 1929)
Flag of West Virginia
(November 6, 1929)
Flag of Wisconsin (September 17, 1979)
Flag of Wisconsin
(September 17, 1979)
Flag of Wyoming (March 4, 1917)
Flag of Wyoming
(March 4, 1917)

Current state ensigns[edit]

Maine and Massachusetts have ensigns differing from the state flag for use at sea.

Naval and Maritime Flag of Massachusetts(1971)
Naval and Maritime Flag of Massachusetts
(1971)
Merchant and Marine Flag of Maine(1939)
Merchant and Marine Flag of Maine
(1939)

Historic state flags[edit]

Former state flags[edit]

Flag of Arkansas(February 26, 1913 – 1923)
Flag of Arkansas
(February 26, 1913 – 1923)
Flag of Arkansas(1923 – 1924)
Flag of Arkansas
(1923 – 1924)
Flag of Florida(September 1868 – November 1900)[8]
Flag of Florida
(September 1868 – November 1900)[8]
Flag of Florida(November 1900 – May 1985)[8]
Flag of Florida
(November 1900 – May 1985)[8]
Flag of Georgia(unofficial, pre-1879)
Flag of Georgia
(unofficial, pre-1879)
Flag of Georgia(1879 – 1902)
Flag of Georgia
(1879 – 1902)
Flag of Georgia(1902 – 1906)
Flag of Georgia
(1902 – 1906)
Flag of Georgia(1906 – 1920)
Flag of Georgia
(1906 – 1920)
Flag of Georgia(1920 – 1956)
Flag of Georgia
(1920 – 1956)
Flag of Georgia(1956 – 2001)
Flag of Georgia
(1956 – 2001)
Flag of Georgia(2001 – 2003)
Flag of Georgia
(2001 – 2003)
Flag of Illinois(1915 – 1969)
Flag of Illinois
(1915 – 1969)
Flag of Louisiana(January 1861, unofficial)
Flag of Louisiana
(January 1861, unofficial)
Flag of Louisiana(February 1861 – 1912)[9]
Flag of Louisiana
(February 1861 – 1912)[9]
Flag of Massachusetts(pre-1971 reverse)
Flag of Massachusetts
(pre-1971 reverse)
Flag of Maine(1901 – June 16, 1909)
Flag of Maine
(1901 – June 16, 1909)
Flag of Minnesota(February 28, 1893 – August 1957)
Flag of Minnesota
(February 28, 1893 – August 1957)
Flag of Minnesota(August 1957 – August 1983)
Flag of Minnesota
(August 1957 – August 1983)
Flag of New York(1788 – April 2, 1901)
Flag of New York
(1788 – April 2, 1901)
Flag of Nevada(July 20, 1905 – 1929)
Flag of Nevada
(July 20, 1905 – 1929)
Flag of Oklahoma(1911 – 1925)
Flag of Oklahoma
(1911 – 1925)
Flag of Oklahoma(1925 – 1941)
Flag of Oklahoma
(1925 – 1941)
Flag of Rhode Island(1882 – 1897)
Flag of Rhode Island
(1882 – 1897)
Flag of South Carolina(1775 – 1861)
Flag of South Carolina
(1775 – 1861)
Flag of South Dakota(1909–1963)
Flag of South Dakota
(1909–1963)
Flag of South Dakota(1963–1992)
Flag of South Dakota
(1963–1992)
Flag of the Vermont Republic and State(June 1, 1770 – June 13, 1804)
Flag of the Vermont Republic and State
(June 1, 1770 – June 13, 1804)
Flag of Vermont(June 14, 1804 – April 3, 1837)
Flag of Vermont
(June 14, 1804 – April 3, 1837)
Flag of Vermont(April 6, 1837 – April 16, 1923)
Flag of Vermont
(April 6, 1837 – April 16, 1923)
Flag of Virginia(1861)
Flag of Virginia
(1861)

American Civil War[edit]

Flag of Virginia(April 1861)
Flag of Virginia
(April 1861)
Flag of Alabama(November 7, 1861 – November 12, 1865, obverse)[3]
Flag of Alabama
(November 7, 1861 – November 12, 1865, obverse)[3]
Flag of Alabama(November 7, 1861 – November 12, 1865, reverse)[3]
Flag of Alabama
(November 7, 1861 – November 12, 1865, reverse)[3]
Flag of Florida(September 27, 1861, unofficial)
Flag of Florida
(September 27, 1861, unofficial)
Flag of Mississippi(April 15, 1861 – April 22, 1865)
Flag of Mississippi
(April 15, 1861 – April 22, 1865)
Flag of North Carolina(March 16, 1861 – March 1, 1885)
Flag of North Carolina
(March 16, 1861 – March 1, 1885)

Texas Revolution[edit]

Flag of the Republic of Texas (June 10, 1836 – June 29, 1839)
Flag of the Republic of Texas (June 10, 1836 – June 29, 1839)
Come and Take It flag
Come and Take It flag
Texas Lone Star and Stripes
Texas Lone Star and Stripes
The Dodson Flag
The Dodson Flag
The Alamo Flag
The Alamo Flag
The Ensign of the First Texas Navy (1836 – 1838)
The Ensign of the First Texas Navy (1836 – 1838)

Other[edit]

Flag of West Florida(August 10, 1810)
Flag of West Florida
(August 10, 1810)
Flag of the California Republic(April 10, 1846)
Flag of the California Republic
(April 10, 1846)
California Lone Star Flag(April 14, 1836)
California Lone Star Flag
(April 14, 1836)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Artimovich, Nick. "Questions & Answers". North American Vexillological Association. p. 8. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  2. ^ Kaye, Ted (2001-06-10). "NEW MEXICO TOPS STATE/PROVINCIAL FLAGS SURVEY, GEORGIA LOSES BY WIDE MARGIN". North American Vexillological Association. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  3. ^ a b c "State Flag of Alabama". Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors. Alabama Department of Archives & History. 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  4. ^ "Official State Symbols of North Carolina". North Carolina State Library (State of North Carolina). Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  5. ^ Text states that Oregon adopted its flag in 1925
  6. ^ Utah State Symbols - State Flag and Seal from pioneer.utah.gov "Pioneer - Utah's Online Library" page. Retrieved on 2008-09-08
  7. ^ "Symbols of Washington State". Washington State Legislature. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  8. ^ a b Florida Constitution Revision Commission (August 4, 2005). "Amendments, Election of 11-6-1900". The Florida State University. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ While this flag was officially adopted by Louisiana in 1861 there is no indication that it actually flew over state buildings up to 1912. In that year (1912) the blue pelican flag was officially adopted after nearly 100 years of unofficial use.