Everyone knows what their state’s flag looks like, but very few know what they actually mean. They aren’t just designed to look pretty, each design has a very specific and intensive purpose behind it.
Many expert historians point to the fact that we should study history in hopes to never repeat it. A lot of state flags make tributes to their history with that same thought process in mind.
All are beautiful, but some stand out above the rest. Be sure to see below for many different facts on US state flags that you’ll find interesting, educational, and borderline genius of the designers to pull off.
1. Arizona’s Star
Everyone from Arizona knows about the state’s “Five C’s”: copper, climate, cattle, cotton, and citrus. The first of those being the most prevalent. Arizona has been and always will be best known for its production of copper.
The Arizona state flag makes a clear nod to that with its design. The flag features a simplistic, yet beautiful design with a copper star smack dab in the middle.
The star’s color signifies the production of copper, while the red and yellow streaks above it signify the heat and sun of the desert. The blue on the bottom half signifies clear water and the balance of nature within the state’s lines.
2. Maryland’s Flag Pattern
Possibly the most iconic (or at least the most individual) flag pattern has to be Maryland’s state flag.
Everyone in the state flaunts it with pride. You’ll see it in the airports of Maryland cities, on state highway signage, souvenir items, and even on the crest of their NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens.
Maryland’s flag is only one of four U.S. state flags that don’t have blue in it. While the designer’s identity remains a mystery, the design is a clear nod to the Calvert family, the once-proud colonial proprietor of Maryland.
George Calvert is noted to have the most direct impact on the design. He’s the one that created the pattern, picked out the colors, and set the definitive lines in the design that the Maryland flag would adopt years later.
Be sure to read this article for more information on the Maryland state flag and how it landed such an infamous design from its rich history.
3. Washington’s Individual Design
There are two factors that make the state of Washington’s flag so different from the other U.S. state flags: its color and its logo.
The entire background of the Washington state flag is a flat green. In fact, many people joke that Washington stole its design from a dollar bill.
This is also about the state flag’s centralized logo, which is a picture of the great George Washington, after which the state is named. President Washington’s face is surrounded by the words “the seal of the state of Washington” in yellow.
Not only is Washington’s flag the only one with a president on it, but it’s also the only one with a person on it. Also, fun fact: this flag requires that the same state seal is on both sides of the flag.
4. Bears on Flags
Out of all 50 states in the United States of America, only two states have flags that feature a grizzly bear prominently on them: Missouri and California.
The Missouri flag features two bears in its state seal, both of which are standing on two feet on top of a scroll.
California’s state flag features one bear, prominently displayed on all fours. Featured just below the bear are two words that read “California Republic”.
Many people wonder why those two states chose bears. They are a symbol of bravery and endurance, as well as immediate strength. Both states use the bears to signify overcoming their troubled past.
Missouri uses the bears as a nod to the struggles that it originally had when becoming a state. It was the second state in the Louisiana Purchase and struggled with where its occupants’ loyalties lied.
California was once completely controlled by Mexico. However, the vast majority of Americans within it chose to secede from Mexico and join the union, which is when they included the bear in the flag. It’s an incredible way to honor the bravery of their history.
5. South Carolina’s Unique Design
Many people outside South Carolina are often confused by the design of its state flag. You can see it prominently displayed on the state’s license plates as well.
At first sight, many people believe the flag to be a picture of a palm tree with the moon overlooking it. However, the crescent shape at the top left of the flag is actually the symbol South Carolina soldiers wore during the Revolutionary War.
It’s the state’s way of honoring their brave heroes that fought for the United States’ independence.
The tree itself is a palmetto tree, which served as a huge help in defending the South Carolina soldiers on Sullivan’s Island. History claims the trees absorbed the blow of cannons fired from British soldiers.
Pay Homage to the History In the US State Flags
Now that you’ve seen several amazing and interesting facts about the history of the US state flags, it’s important that you pay homage to them in your own way.
Each flag features proud moments in the state’s history. Be sure to learn all that you can about your state’s flag and the history behind it. Share the knowledge with your friends in order to make them just as proud of their state!
Make sure to browse our website for more articles on state history, as well as many other helpful topics.