Flag and coat of arms of Pennsylvania

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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg
UseCivil and state flag
AdoptedJune 13, 1907; 115 years ago (June 13, 1907)
DesignCoat of Arms of Pennsylvania on a blue field
Flag of the Governor of Pennsylvania.svg
Variant flag of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
NameStandard of the Governor of Pennsylvania
DesignCoat of Arms of Pennsylvania on a white field, with two banners above and below
Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Coat of arms of Pennsylvania.svg
Pennsylvania state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876).jpg
Historical coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
Coat of arms of Pennsylvania (seal).svg
The coat of arms is often used in the form of a "seal"
Coat of arms of Pennsylvania (lesser).svg
The coat of arms as it appears on the obverse of the Great Seal.
ArmigerCommonwealth of Pennsylvania
CrestBald eagle
TorseGold and White
BlazonTierced per fess azure, Or, and vert; in chief a ship at sea proper; in fess a plough proper; in base three sheaves of wheat proper
MottoVirtue, Liberty, and Independence

The coat of arms of Pennsylvania is an official emblem of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, alongside the seal and state flag, and was adopted in 1778.[1] The flag of Pennsylvania consists of a blue field on which the state coat of arms is displayed.

Coat of arms[edit]

The Pennsylvania coat of arms features a shield crested by a North American bald eagle, flanked by horses, and adorned with symbols of Pennsylvania's strengths—a ship carrying state commerce to all parts of the world; a clay-red plough, a symbol of Pennsylvania's rich natural resources; and three golden sheaves of wheat, representing fertile fields and Pennsylvania's wealth of human thought and action. An olive branch and cornstalk cross limbs beneath—symbols of peace and prosperity. The state motto, "Virtue, Liberty and Independence", appears festooned below. Atop the coat of arms is a bald eagle, representing Pennsylvania's loyalty to the United States.[2][3]


The flag as it appears in an 1819 painting

Originally authorized by the state in 1798, the current design was enacted by law on June 13, 1907.[4]

In the summer of 2005, House Bill 179 was introduced to the state legislature to add "Pennsylvania" to the bottom of the flag in golden letters. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted in favor of the change, 164–31.[5] The legislation was proposed by State Representative Tim Solobay.[6] The Senate State Government Committee never considered the bill, which died at the end of the Pennsylvania General Assembly's two-year session.

Flag of the governor[edit]

The flag of the governor of Pennsylvania contains the state coat of arms on a field of white. Above the coat of arms, the flag displays a red ribbon with "The Governor" written in gold sans serif lettering. Below the coat of arms, the flag displays another red ribbon with "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" in gold lettering.

NAVA Ranking[edit]

In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. state, U.S. territorial and Canadian provincial flags. The survey ranked Pennsylvania's flag 57th out of the 72.[7]


Besides being used by itself, the coat of arms is used on many governmental seals of the state, as well as the flag of the Governor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pennsylvania Government". State Government. State Symbols USA. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  2. ^ "World Flags 101 - Pennsylvania Flags". Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  3. ^ "Symbols of Pennsylvania". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
  4. ^ "Status of the Wisconsin was her Flag". 2007-09-12. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  5. ^ "House passes Solobay bill adding 'Pennsylvania' to state flag". Office of State Rep. Tim Solobay. Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  6. ^ "Solobay seeks to add 'Pennsylvania' to state flag". Office of State Rep. Tim Solobay. August 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  7. ^ "2001 State/Provincial Flag Survey - NAVA.org" (PDF). nava.org.

External links[edit]