Flags of the U.S. states and territories

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Map showing the current flags of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the 5 major U.S. territories

The flags of the U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia exhibit a variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as different styles and design principles. Nonetheless, the majority of the states' flags share the same design pattern consisting of the state seal superimposed on a monochrome background, commonly a shade of blue.

The most recently adopted state flag is the Flag of Utah, which was updated on February 16, 2011 to fix incorrectly located text.[1] The most recently adopted territorial flag is that of the Northern Mariana Islands, and was adopted on July 1, 1985.

History[edit]

Modern U.S. state flags as contemporarily understood date from the turn of the 20th century, when states wanted to have distinctive symbols at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Most U.S. state flags were designed and adopted between 1893 and World War I.[2]

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[3] (Georgia adopted a new flag in 2003; Nebraska's state flag, whose design was rated second worst, remains in use to date).

Current state flags[edit]

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

Current federal district flag[edit]

This is the current flag of the District of Columbia.

Current territory flags[edit]

These are the current official flags of the permanently-inhabited territories of the United States. Dates in parenthesis denote when the territory's current flag was adopted by its respective political body.

Current state ensigns[edit]

Maine and Massachusetts have ensigns for use at sea.

Historical state and territory flags[edit]

Former state flags[edit]

Former territory flags[edit]

American Civil War[edit]

Texas Revolution[edit]

Other[edit]

Native American flags[edit]

See also: Flags of Native Americans in the United States

Native American reservations can be considered first-order administrative divisions (like the states and territories). Although reservations are on state land, the laws of the state(s) do not necessarily apply on tribal land (due to tribal sovereignty).[20] Below are the flags of the 3 largest Native American reservations by population (Navajo, Osage and Puyallup), and the 3 largest reservations by total area (Navajo, Uintah and Ouray, and Tohono O'odham):

The Cherokee nation also has a flag.

Unofficial flags[edit]

The U.S. national flag is the official flag for all islands, atolls, and reefs composing the United States Minor Outlying Islands. However, unofficial flags are sometimes used to represent nine of the insular areas in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands:

Historical unofficial flags[edit]

This is the former unofficial flag of Palmyra Atoll.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Mississippi flag was first adopted in April 1894. However, it was repealed in 1906, remaining in de facto usage until its official re-adoption in April 2001.
  2. ^ Also called a "commonwealth in political union [with the United States]"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keith McCord (12 February 2011). "Resolution aims to correct state flag goof". KSL-TV. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  2. ^ Artimovich, Nick. "Questions & Answers". North American Vexillological Association. p. 8. Archived from the original on April 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
  3. ^ Kaye, Ted (2001-06-10). "NEW MEXICO TOPS STATE/PROVINCIAL FLAGS SURVEY, GEORGIA LOSES BY WIDE MARGIN". North American Vexillological Association. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  4. ^ a b c "State Flag of Alabama". Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors. Alabama Department of Archives & History. 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  5. ^ Anderson, Ed (November 22, 2010). "New Louisiana state flag with bleeding pelican is unfurled". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  6. ^ a b State of Mississippi (February 7, 2001). "Miss. Code Ann. § 3-3-16: Design of state flag". Mississippi Code of 1972. LexisNexis. HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2001, ch. 301, § 2, eff from and after February 7, 2001 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)
  7. ^ "Official State Symbols of North Carolina". North Carolina State Library. State of North Carolina. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  8. ^ "The Oklahoma State Flag". NetState. NState, LLC. February 6, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2015. Colors shall be colorfast and shall not bleed one into another. Added by Laws 1925, c. 234, p. 340, § 1. Amended by Laws 1941, p. 90, § 1; Laws 2006, c. 181, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2006.
  9. ^ "Enrolled Senate Bill No. 1359". Oklahoma State Courts Network. May 23, 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2015. This act shall become effective November 1, 2006.
  10. ^ Text states that Oregon adopted its flag in 1925
  11. ^ Dan Bammes (2011-02-17). "Legislature: Fixing the Flag". KUER-FM. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  12. ^ "Utah State Flag Concurrent Resolution, 2011 General Session, State of Utah". Retrieved February 17, 2011.
  13. ^ Keith McCord (12 February 2011). "Resolution aims to correct state flag goof". KSL-TV. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  14. ^ Dennis Romboy (9 March 2011). "Utahns celebrate first State Flag Day". KSL-TV. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  15. ^ Commonwealth of Virginia (February 1, 1950). "§ 1-506. Flag of the Commonwealth". Code of Virginia. Virginia: Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved January 28, 2015. The flag of the Commonwealth shall be a deep blue field, with a circular white centre of the same material. Upon this circle shall be painted or embroidered, to show on both sides alike, the coat of arms of the Commonwealth, as described in § 1-500 for the obverse of the great seal of the Commonwealth; and there may be a white fringe on the outer edge, furthest from the flagstaff. This shall be known and respected as the flag of the Commonwealth. (Code 1950, § 7-32; 1966, c. 102, § 7.1-32; 2005, c. 839.)
  16. ^ "Symbols of Washington State". Washington State Legislature. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
  17. ^ State of Wisconsin. "286". Section: 1.08: State flag. Laws of 1979. Retrieved August 21, 2015. The department of administration shall ensure that all official state flags that are manufactured on or after May 1, 1981, conform to the requirements of this section. State flags manufactured before May 1, 1981, may continue to be used as state flags.
  18. ^ a b Florida Constitution Revision Commission (August 4, 2005). "Amendments, Election of 11-6-1900". The Florida State University. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  19. ^ [1] 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.
  20. ^ https://www.bia.gov/frequently-asked-questions BIA. U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved September 7, 2019.

External links[edit]