The Keystone State - Pennsylvania 2

The Keystone State – Pennsylvania

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The flag of Pennsylvania is both simple, in that it consists of a solid blue field with only the coat of arms of the state centered and embroidered on said field, but also complicated because, as is commonly true of heraldic symbols such as the coat of arms, there is a great deal going on there.

The Keystone State - Pennsylvania 3
Pennsylvania Flag

The coat of arms of Pennsylvania was adopted in 1778.  The coat of arms features a shield crested by an 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.

Whew!  Like I said, there’s a lot going on in that circular symbol.

The state flag was originally authorized by the state in 1799 although the current design was not enacted by law until 1907.


That’s a lot of information about the state of Pennsylvania in a quick and short burst.  Of course, as is true of all of the states, entire books could be, and have been, written about the rich and complex history of the fascinating state that is Pennsylvania and I heartily encourage interested readers to investigate further by reading, or at least perusing volumes such as:

Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth – Edited by Randall M. Miller and William A. Pencak

Or any of these Goodreads recommendations.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for state number three, New Jersey, the Garden State (yep you heard me, it isn’t all about Newark!).

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