The original Grizzly Bear Flag was designed by Peter Storm. Versions of Storm’s Bear Flag were raised for the first time in Sonoma, California, in …
There are various accounts of the earliest history of the flag of Hawai’i. One relates how King Kamehameha I flew a British flag, probably a Red Ensign, given to him by British explorer Captain George Vancouver as a token of friendship with King George III. Subsequent visitors reported seeing the flag flying from places of honor, as it was then considered an official Hawai’ian flag. As the union jack added diagonal red cross of St Patrick in 1801, so did the flag of Hawai’i. An adviser to Kamehameha noted that the Union Flag could draw Hawai’i into international conflict, as his kingdom could be seen as an ally of the United Kingdom, and he subsequently lowered the Union Flag over his home at Kamakahonu. While disputed as historically accurate, one account stated that in order to placate U.S. interests during the War of 1812, a flag of the U.S. was raised over Kamehameha’s home, only to be removed when British officers in the court of Kamehameha vehemently objected to it. This explains why the resulting flag of Hawai’i was a deliberate hybrid of the two nations’ flags.
More than 30 years before Alaska was to become a state, the Alaska Department of the American Legion sponsored a territorial contest for Alaskan children in grades seven through twelve. Winning the contest in 1927, the design of Benny Benson, a 13-year-old Alaska Native residing at the Jesse Lee Home for Children in Seward, was chosen to represent the future flag of the Territory of Alaska. Up to that time, Alaskans had flown only the U.S. flag since the territory was purchased from Russia in 1867. Benson’s design was chosen over roughly 700 other submissions from schoolchildren territory-wide in grades 7–12. Most other entries featured variations on the territorial seal, the midnight sun, the northern lights, polar bears, and/or gold pans. To celebrate his achievement, Benson was awarded $1,000 and an engraved watch.
The flag of Arizona consists of 13 rays of red and weld-yellow on the top half, the colors of the flag of Spain, representing the 13 original U.S. states. The red and yellow also symbolize Arizona’s picturesque sunsets. The copper star represents the copper mining industry in Arizona. The rest of the flag is colored blue, representing the Colorado River.
The height of the flag is two units high while the width is three units wide. The sun rays at the top are divided into 13 equal segments, starting with red and alternating with gold until the rays are complete. In the center of the flag, the copper star is one unit high, while the rest of the flag is covered by blue section measuring one unit high and three units wide. The colors of red and blue are the same shade used on the flag of the United States. The specific colors of copper and gold have not been set down in law. The suggested flag size is four by six feet, with the star being two feet tall.
The flag of the U.S. state of New Mexico consists of a red sun symbol of the Zia on a field of yellow, and was officially introduced in 1925. It was designed in 1920, to highlight the state’s Native American Pueblo and Nuevo México Hispano roots. The colors evoke the flags of Habsburg Spain (the Cross of Burgundy), Spain and the Crown of Aragon, brought by the conquistadors.
It is one of four U.S. state flags not to contain the color blue (the other three being Alabama, California, and Maryland). The flag of the District of Columbia also has no blue.
The Daughters of the American Revolution pushed New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag in 1920. A contest to design the new state flag was won by Harry Mera of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mera was an archaeologist who was familiar with the Zia Sun symbol found at Zia Pueblo on a 19th-century pot. The symbol has sacred meaning to the Zia. Four is a sacred number which symbolizes the Circle of Life: the four directions, the four times of day, the four stages of life, and the four seasons. The circle binds the four elements of four together. His winning design is the flag that the state uses today.
The official design of the state flag has not changed since 1941, however, unauthorized Oklahoma flag designs became prevalent throughout the state, so much so that the correct and official design of the flag was becoming lost. These unauthorized flags displayed stylized eagle feathers, incorrectly shaped crosses, an incorrectly shaped calument, wrong colors, or combinations of these and other errors.
In 2005, an Oklahoma boy scout leader designing patches for a National Jamboree contingent was looking for an image of the Oklahoma state flag and noticed that there were multiple unauthorized designs of the Oklahoma state flag displayed on state government, historical, and educational websites. With some research he was able to identify the official design to use, but because of the prevalence of unauthorized designs, he contacted his state representative, and was the impetus to standardize the colors and shapes by Oklahoma Senate Bill 1359 and signed into law by Governor Brad Henry on May 23, 2006, taking effect on November 1, 2006.
The flag of the state of Utah was adopted in February 2011 and consists of the seal of Utah encircled in a golden circle on a background of dark navy blue. It replaced a previous, albeit rather similar flag that had been in use since 1913.
A bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, symbolizes protection in peace and war. The sego lily, the state flower of Utah, represents peace. The state motto “Industry” and the beehive represent progress and hard work. The U.S. flags show Utah’s support and commitment to the United States. The state name “Utah” appears below the beehive. The date 1847 represents the year the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, while 1896 represents the year that Utah was admitted as the 45th state to the Union.
The flag of the state of Wyoming consists of the silhouette of an American bison. The red symbolizes the Native Americans and the blood of pioneers who gave their lives. The white is a symbol of purity and uprightness. The blue is the color of the skies and distant mountains. It is also a symbol of fidelity, justice and virility. The bison represents the local fauna, while the seal on it symbolizes the custom of branding livestock.
The flag of the state of Idaho consists of the state seal on a field of blue. The words “State of Idaho” appear in gold letters on a red and gold band below the seal.
The seal depicts a miner and a woman representing equality, liberty and justice. The symbols on the seal represent some of Idaho’s natural resources: mines, forests, farmland, and wildlife.
The state flag of Washington consists of the state seal, displaying an image of state namesake George Washington, on a field of dark green with gold fringe being optional. It is the only U.S. state flag with a field of green as well as the only state flag with the image of an American president.
The flag was officially adopted on March 5, 1923, and has been a symbol of Washington ever since. Washington had achieved statehood in 1889, but did not have an official flag at the time. The Washington chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution designed the flag in 1915 and campaigned for its adoption by the Washington State Legislature in the early 1920s. The state flag has undergone minor revisions since its adoption, including the use of standardized colors in 1955 and a modernized seal in 1967.