State Flag Spotlight: The Dazzling Flag of the Grand Canyon State

Arizona Flag in Monuments Valley, AZ

The western United States is, in some ways, still as wild as it was when the first pioneers took their wagons across the country. There are plenty of cities now, but the allure of the west is still the expanses of deserts with their breathtaking sights. Arizona is a stand-out in this attraction, featuring not only the incredible Monument Valley but also the geological phenomenon that give the state its nickname—the Grand Canyon. Continue reading

State Flag of Kentucky – The Bluegrass State

Kentucky (USA) flag waving on the wind

Each state in the United States of America has many symbols that were adopted as the state established itself and the residents gained pride in their home. Every resident may not be familiar with their state’s flower or the state bird, but the state flag inspires a kind of pride that inhabits long-time residents and recent transplants. Kentucky is no exception, with a proud banner that flies over thousands of homes and buildings across the Bluegrass State. Continue reading

Chicago Flag: A Fascinating City’s History on Display

Chicago city flags waving

Nothing symbolizes pride quite like a flag. Every American smiles to see our nation’s banner flying in front of a house or a school. Sports fans spot their fellow fanatics by the banners in windows and yards.

There is a flag for everyone—flags for causes, countries, and even cities. One of the oldest city flags in the United States is in the City of Chicago. The Chicago flag is a rich example of everything a flag should be—exemplifying the history and pride a city’s residents feel regarding their home. Continue reading

Texas State Flag Spotlight

Texas state flag decorWhile all state flags have interesting histories, few states have a flag story as remarkable as that of Texas. The Lone Star State is one of the only states in America that had to fight for its right to fly its flag, as well as its independence from Mexico. The history and design of the Texas state flag are just as unique and patriotic as the people it represents.

History of the Texas Flag

Throughout history, Texas has flown seven flags, and six of these were national flags, which signified who ruled the state at the time. These include the French, Spanish, Mexican, Confederate, American and the Republic of Texas flags. Even today, Texans flies all six of these flags in public and private displays of patriotism. Continue reading

Maryland State Flag Spotlight

Maryland state flag graphicThe tradition of state flags had begun before states were even states. The colonies used them as a rallying point for groups of militia, and they have been a symbol of state pride ever since. Maryland has one of the most unusual state flags. It stands out from the mostly blue banners of other states and, since Maryland was one of the original colonies, it has a long and rich history represented in its colors. Continue reading

State Flag Spotlight: Montana

Montana state flag

American states and territories have been adopting flags since the first colonization, with official flags appearing as early as the 1860s. The trend was more popular in the 1890s and, by World War I, most states proudly flew their flag just below the country’s banner. Most states have since tweaked their original designs – Utah just adopted a new design in 2011. The state flag of Montana has remained unchanged for years and contains a wealth of information about the state in its imagery. Continue reading

State Spotlight: California

Golden Gate Bridge

For most of its history, California has been a dream that people chase looking for an opportunity at a new life in one form or another.  People came to the territory of California in a push for freedom and expansion, then for gold, and finally fame. Today, California offers vast opportunities for those seeking a new start and different dreams for people to follow.  But, first, it started with a flag, a group of people looking for a change, and the dream of new land. Continue reading

State Flag Spotlight: The Florida State Flag

florida flag divider The Florida state flag

The State Flag of Florida

  • 27th state to join the United States of America
  • Nickname: “The Sunshine State”
  • Capital: Tallahassee

The state flag of Florida consists of three major elements: the white background (or field in vexillology terms), the intersecting red bars, and the state seal. The white background with the crossing red bars is almost identical to the state flag of Florida’s neighbor to the northwest, the state of Alabama, except a small variation on the exact hue of red used.

Added in 1900, the red bars harkened back to the southern cross pattern that appeared on the flag used by the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. It is interesting to note that, as well as the southern cross, the red cross pattern is very similar to the flag of the Spanish empire which consisted of the original Europeans to inhabit what we know today as Florida.

This flag was originally the flag of the Duke of Burgundy, whose family eventually ended inheriting the Spanish empire. The flag was made up of a white field with two intersecting jagged red bars running from corner to corner in an X shape. Before 1900, and after 1868, the flag was made up of the state seal in the center of the white field of the flag.

The Floridian State Seal serves as a very complex and interesting focal point of the flag. On August 6, 1868, due to the requirements of the state’s newly adopted constitution, a resolution was passed dictating “That a Seal of the size of the American silver dollar, having in the center thereof a view of the sun’s rays over a high land in the distance, a cocoa tree, a steamboat on water, and an Indian female scattering flowers in the foreground, encircled by the words, ‘Great Seal of the State of Florida: In God We Trust’, be and the same is hereby adopted as the Great Seal of the State of Florida.”

In the year 1970, over a century since the original seal was designed and adopted by the government of the state of Florida, a small, and some would say, minor change was made to the official resolution describing the flag, which changed the “cocoa tree” to a “Sabal palmetto palm” tree.

In 2006 the phrase “In God We Trust,” which graces the banner at the bottom of the original seal and would later be moved to the bottom half of a banner encircling the modern seal, was adopted by the state of Florida as its official motto. After a few different variations in art style and overall design of the seal, as well as the correction of what were viewed as historical errors in the seal, the current version of the seal, the one that is now located at the center of Florida’s official state flag, was adopted in 1985.

florida flag sealDissecting the Meaning Behind the Seal

  • The woman on the seal is a member of the Seminole native American tribe who inhabited parts of the state before the Europeans began to settle the area.
  • The tree is a sable palm tree, which is the state tree.
  • The woman is dropping flowers which represent Florida’s name, referencing its abundance of flowers.
  • The rising sun is a representation of Florida’s being famously known as “the land of sunshine.”
  • The water is supposed to be the meeting of the lakes and rivers scattered throughout the state.
  • The steamboat appears to be an homage to Florida’s booming industry and trade that helped build the state.

 

Changes in the Sealmodern florida flag seal

  • The native American woman originally in the seal was wearing clothing from the Plains Indian tribes.
  • The tree from the first seal was changed from a cocoa tree to a sable palm tree.
  • The first seal had a banner reading “In God We Trust” across the bottom. This was then removed and replaced with a banner encircling the seal reading “Great Seal
    of the State of Florida” across the top and “In God We Trust” at the bottom .
  • The art style has also changed, from a very realistic painting, to a simpler version of the scene, to the current and more abstract art style the seal has now.