The Capital of the United States
Although Washington, D.C. is not a state, it has its own flag. It is composed of 2 red bars below 3 red stars over a white background.
Although Washington, D.C. is not a state, it has its own flag. It is composed of 2 red bars below 3 red stars over a white background.
There is a reason behind each state having its own flag and unique design―to reflect the culture, heritage, and values of that particular state. The design for every flag is not just a representation of the state, but also its citizens. The choice of colors and specific elements used in the flags have been be carefully thought over.
As you scroll down, you will find the flags of all the 50 states along with a free printable option.
- Alabama (AL)
- Alaska (AK)
- Arizona (AZ)
- Arkansas (AR)
- California (CA)
- Colorado (CO)
- Connecticut (CT)
- Delaware (DE)
- Florida (FL)
- Georgia (GA)
- Hawaii (HI)
- Idaho (ID)
- Illinois (IL)
- Indiana (IN)
- Iowa (IA)
- Kansas (KS)
- Kentucky (KY)
- Louisiana (LA)
- Maine (ME)
- Maryland (MD)
- Massachusetts (MA)
- Michigan (MI)
- Minnesota (MN)
- Mississippi (MS)
- Missouri (MO)
- Montana (MT)
- Nebraska (NE)
- Nevada (NV)
- New Hampshire (NH)
- New Jersey (NJ)
- New Mexico (NM)
- New York (NY)
- North Carolina (NC)
- North Dakota (ND)
- Ohio (OH)
- Oklahoma (OK)
- Oregon (OR) - Obverse
- Pennsylvania (PA)
- Rhode Island (RI)
- South Carolina (SC)
- South Dakota (SD)
- Tennessee (TN)
- Texas (TX)
- Utah (UT)
- Vermont (VT)
- Virginia (VA)
- Washington (WA)
- West Virginia (WV)
- Wisconsin (WI)
- Wyoming (WY)
Adopted - February 16, 1895
The flag of Alabama has a crimson-colored diagonal St. Andrew's cross on a white background. The bars of the cross have to be at least 6 inches wide to meet its legal definition.
Adopted - July 9, 1927
The flag of Alaska has 8 gold stars on a blue background. The 7 small stars form the Big Dipper, and the 8th being the North Star. The blue background of the flag is symbolic of the sky, the sea, the mountain lakes, and Alaska's wildflowers.
Adopted - January 25, 1917
The flag of Arizona has 13 red and gold rays on the top half of the blue background. These rays are a symbol of the 13 original colonies. In the center of the flag is a copper star, which is the symbol of Arizona's copper mining industry.
Adopted - March 16, 1924
The flag of Arkansas has a white diamond with a large blue border over a red background. Along with "ARKANSAS" inscribed in the middle of the diamond, there are 4 blue stars in it as well. The top blue star is in the center and represents the state being a member of the Confederate States during the Civil War. The other 3 stars (outer stars pointing upwards and the bottom star pointing downwards) are a symbol of Spain, France, and the U.S., the countries that had ruled over the land which includes Arkansas. On the blue border, there are 25 small white stars to represent that Arkansas became the 25th state to join the Union.
Adopted - February 3, 1911
The flag of California has a red star at the top-left corner, a red stripe at the bottom, and a walking grizzly bear over a grass plat in the center of a white background. Below the bear, "California Republic" is inscribed.
Adopted - June 5, 1911
The flag of Colorado has 3 horizontal stripes. The middle stripe is white, whereas the top and bottom ones are blue. Over these stripes, there is a circular red C with a gold disk filling up the space inside. The blue stripes represent the sky, the white stripe represent the snow-capped mountains, the circular red C represents the color of the Earth, and the gold disk represents either Colorado's sunshine or the gold mines.
Adopted - September 9, 1897
The flag of Connecticut has a white-colored baroque shield with 3 grapevines along with a white-colored banner underneath it that says "Qui Transtulit Sustinet" over an azure background. Each grapevine has 3 bunches of purple grapes on it. The banner has Connecticut's motto―He Who Transplanted Sustains Us.
Adopted - July 24, 1913
The flag of Delaware has a buff-colored diamond in the middle of a colonial blue background. Inside the diamond is the state coat of arms, which is the Great Seal of Delaware. Below the diamond, the date December 7, 1787 is inscribed to represent the day Delaware became the 1st state to sign the U.S. Constitution.
Adopted - May 21, 1985
The flag of Florida has a red-colored diagonal St. Andrew's Cross over a white background. It also has Florida's seal on top of where the cross intersects. The seal has a bright sun, a cabbage palmetto tree, a Native American Seminole woman who is scattering flowers, and a sailing steamboat in it, all representing Florida's beauty.
Adopted - May 8, 2003
The flag of Georgia has 3 horizontal stripes. The middle stripe is white, whereas the top and bottom ones are red. At the top left corner, covering the top red and middle white stripes, there is a blue background with the state coat of arms and 13 white stars around it. The stars represent Georgia's place as one of the 13 original colonies. The seal has 3 pillars supporting an arch which represents the 3 branches of government―legislative, judicial, and executive. Underneath the arch, there is a man holding a sword to defend the Constitution. His principles are also on the seal―Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.
Adopted - December 29, 1845
The flag of Hawaii has 8 alternating stripes of white, red, and blue representing the 8 main islands. There is a flag of Great Britain at the top left corner honoring the state's friendship with the British.
Adopted - November 2, 1957
The flag of Idaho has the Great Seal over a blue background. The seal has a miner and woman in it who represent equality, justice, and liberty. Also, the seal depicts the state's natural resources―mines, farmland, forests, and wildlife. The 3 sides of the flag has a gilt fringe, and the words―STATE OF IDAHO―inscribed in gold letters on a red and gold band underneath the seal.
Adopted - June 27, 1969
The flag of Illinois has the Great Seal in the middle of a white background. Underneath the seal, the word "ILLINOIS" is inscribed in blue. The seal has a bald eagle standing over a rock holding a shield in its talons. On the rock, there are two dates―1818 (when Illinois became a state) and 1868 (the year the Great Seal was redesigned). Also, the eagle has a banner in its beak with the state's motto inscribed in it―State Sovereignty, National Union.
Adopted - May 31, 1917
The flag of Indiana has 19 gold stars and a flaming torch in the middle of a blue background. The outer circle has 13 stars which represent the 13 original colonies. The inner-half circle has 5 stars which represent the states that were admitted before Indiana. And the 19th star, which is above the flaming torch and visibly larger than the others, represents Indiana.
Adopted - March 12, 1921
The flag of Iowa has 3 vertical stripes―blue, white, and red―as the state was a part of the French Louisiana Territory. The white stripe in the middle is wider than the others, and has an image of a bald eagle holding a white-blue ribbon in its beak with the inscription, "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain". Also, below the eagle and the ribbon, the word "IOWA" is inscribed in red.
Adopted - September 22, 1961
The flag of Kansas has a sunflower and the Great Seal in the center of a dark blue background, along with the words "KANSAS" underneath it. The seal has the state's motto―To the Stars Through Difficulties―34 white stars underneath it, a rising sun, a river and steamboat, a farmer plowing a field, a wagon train, a log cabin, and Native Americans hunting American bison.
Adopted - March 26, 1918
The flag of Kentucky has a half circle sprigs of goldenrod at the bottom, a pioneer and a statesman on the seal with the state's motto―United We Stand, Divided We Fall―circling them, and the words "Commonwealth of Kentucky" above it on a navy blue background.
Adopted - May 7, 2006
The flag of Louisiana has a mother pelican feeding her young with her own blood on an azure background. The mother's wings are outspread so that she can protect her young, and the 3 red drops is her wounding her own breast to feed them. Underneath them, there is a white banner with the state's motto―Union, Justice, and Confidence.
Adopted - June 16, 1909
The flag of Maine has the state coat of arms in the center of a blue background. Inside the shield, there is a moose resting underneath a pine tree. Also, the coat of arms has a farmer (symbolizing agriculture) and seaman (symbolizing the sea close to the state), and the North Star with the state's motto―Dirigo (I Lead).
Adopted - November 25, 1904
The flag of Maryland has the black and white coat of arms of the Calvert family, and the red and white coat of arms of the Crossland family. Maryland is one of the 4 U.S. states that doesn't have the color blue in its flag.
Adopted - March 21, 1971
The flag of Massachusetts has an image of a Native American inside a blue shield, and above it, there is an arm holding a sword on a white background. Inside the shield, the figure is shown holding a bow and an arrow in his hands, along with a white star. The arrow is pointing downwards which represents peace, and the white star is a symbol of Massachusetts being one of the 13 original colonies. Below the shield, there is a blue ribbon with the state's motto―By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty.
Adopted - June 26, 1911
The flag of Michigan has the state coat of arms in the middle of a dark blue background. The seal has a light blue shield, in which there is a man holding a gun (representing the ability to defend his rights) in one hand while raising the other hand (representing peace). On either side of the shield, an elk and a moose are shown standing; symbols of the state. Above the shield is an eagle that represents the country. There are also 3 Latin mottos on the flag―on the red ribbon, "Out of many, One", on the light blue shield, "I Will Defend", and on the white ribbon, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."
Adopted - August 2, 1983
The flag of Minnesota has the Great Seal over a medium blue background. Around the seal, there is a wreath of lady slipper, Minnesota's state flower. Woven on the wreath are 3 dates―1819 (when Fort Snelling was established), 1858 (when Minnesota became a state), and 1893 (first state flag of Minnesota was adopted). Also, there are 19 gold stars arranged in a cluster around the wreath representing that Minnesota was the 19th state added to the 13 original colonies. And of course, the big star on top represents the state itself.
Adopted - April 23, 1894
The flag of Mississippi has 3 horizontal stripes of blue, white, and red; divided into 3 equal widths. On the upper left corner, there is a red square with blue diagonal cross with white border. Inside the cross, there are 13 white stars representing the 13 original colonies.
Adopted - September 4, 1913
The flag of Missouri has the Great Seal over 3 horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue; divided into 3 equal widths. The red and white stripes represent valor and purity, respectively. And as for the blue stripe, it represents permanency, vigilance, and justice of the state. The seal is circled by a blue band with 24 white stars which represents the state's admission as the 24th U.S. state. In the middle of the seal, there is a bear (symbol of strength and bravery), a crescent moon (symbol of newness of statehood and potential for growth) along with a gold band circling it with the motto―United We Stand, Divided We Fall. On either side of the shield are 2 grizzly bears with a banner underneath with the state's motto―Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law. Above the seal are 24 white stars representing that Missouri was the 24th state added to the original colonies.
Adopted - 1985
The flag of Montana has Great Seal below the word "MONTANA" on a blue background. The seal has a pick, shovel, and plow that represents mining and farming in Montana. In the background of the seal, there is a rising sun over the mountains, forests, and the Great Falls of the Missouri river. There is a pink ribbon at the bottom of the seal with the state's motto―Gold and Silver.
Adopted - July 16, 1963
The flag of Nebraska has the Great Seal on a blue background. The seal has a steam train in the background, mountains, steamboat in the Missouri River, a cabin, sheaves of harvested wheat, and a blacksmith working on an anvil. At the top of the seal, there is a banner with the motto―Equality Before the Law. And circling the seal, there is the text―Great Seal of the State of Nebraska, March 1st, 1867.
Adopted - July 25, 1991
The flag of Nevada has a silver star at the upper left corner over a cobalt background. Above the star, there is a golden-yellow banner that says, "Battle Born"; this speaks of when Nevada became a state during the American Civil War. Underneath the star, the name "NEVADA" is written in gold letters. Also, there are 2 sprigs of green sagebrush with yellow flowers, Nevada's state flower.
Adopted - 1931
The flag of New Hampshire has the Great Seal in the middle of a blue background. Inside the seal has the frigate USS Raleigh. Surrounding the seal is a laurel wreath representing fame, honor, and victory, and 9 gold stars representing New Hampshire becoming the 9th state to join the Union.
Adopted - 1928
The flag of New Jersey has the state's coat of arms in middle of a buff-colored background. On the inside, it has a shield with 3 plows that represent the state's agricultural tradition, a knight's helmet, a horse's head as the crest of the helmet, 2 female figures―Liberty and Ceres―and a streamer at the bottom with the state's motto―Liberty and Prosperity, 1776. Liberty is holding a staff with the liberty cap in her right hand, whereas Ceres is shown holding an overflowing cornucopia in her left hand.
Adopted - 1925
The flag of New Mexico has the red Sun symbol of the Native American people called the Zia in the middle of a yellow background. There is a group of rays pointing in 4 different directions coming from the symbol. The Zia believed that the gifts provided by the giver of all good always comes in groups of 4. These gifts are―directions (north, south, east, and west), days (sunrise, noon, evening, and night), seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter), and life (childhood, youth, middle years, and old age).
Adopted - April 2, 1901
The flag of New York has the state's coat of arms in the middle of a dark blue background. There is a shield in the center with a masted ship and a sloop (sailboat) over the Hudson River, symbolizing the inland and foreign commerce in New York. Along with the rising sun in the background, there are mountains and a grassy shore as well. On the left side of the shield stands Liberty with a crown underneath her left foot. On the right side of the shield stands Justice with a blindfold on, and holding scales and a sword. There is a banner underneath the shield with the motto "EXCELSIOR" written on it. Above the shield, there is an eagle on top of a world globe. And circling around the coat of arms are the words―The Great Seal of the State of New York.
Adopted - March, 1885
The flag of North Carolina has 2 horizontal stripes of red and white, along with a blue union with a big white star in the middle. In golden-yellow color, the letter N (on the left) and letter C (on the right) are inscribed with 2 golden-yellow banners at the top and bottom. The top banner has the inscription "May 20th, 1775", and the bottom banner has the inscription "April 12th, 1776" on it.
Adopted - March 3, 1911
The flag of North Dakota has a bald eagle with a shield on its breast on a dark blue background. The bald eagle is holding an olive branch in its left claw, and a bunch of arrows in its right claw. Also, the bird is holding a red banner with gold border with the words "One nation made up of many states" inscribed on it. Above the banner, there are 13 golden-yellow stars representing the 13 original colonies. Below the bird, there is a red banner with the name "NORTH DAKOTA" inscribed on it.
Adopted - May 09, 1902
The flag of Ohio is actually a guidon with 5 alternating horizontal stripes of red and white representing the roads and waterways of the state. On the left side, there is an azure triangle (representing the state's hills and valleys) with a red and white O (representing the "O" in Ohio) and 17 white stars (representing Ohio as the 17th state to be admitted into the Union; out of which 13 stars are grouped together on the left side for the 13 original colonies.
Adopted - April 2, 1925
The flag of Oklahoma has an Osage Nation buffalo-skin shield with 7 eagle feathers on a sky blue background. On the shield, there is a calumet which represents more than 60 groups of Native Americans, and an olive branch which represents the European Americans; both symbols of peace. And underneath the shield, the word "OKLAHOMA" is inscribed.
Adopted - April 15, 1925
The flag of Oregon has an image on both sides. On the dark blue background, the obverse side has a heart-shaped gold shield with an eagle on top and 33 stars around it. Inside the shield, there is a setting sun over the Pacific Ocean, forests, mountains, a wagon, a banner with the words "The Union" inscribed on it along with a plow, wheat, and pickax which represent farming and mining in the state. Also, there are 2 ships in the background which represent trading. Above the shield, the words "State of Oregon" is inscribed, and below it the date "1859" is inscribed.
Adopted - February 26, 1925
The reverse side of the flag has a gold beaver; the state animal.
Adopted - April 29, 1900
The flag of Pennsylvania has the coat of arms in the middle of a dark blue background. On either side of the coat of arms are draft horses along with a bald eagle sitting on top. Inside the coat of arms is a ship, a plow, and 3 sheaves of wheat representing commerce, labor, perseverance, and the state's agricultural background. Below the coat of the arms, there is a stalk of Indian corn on the left side, and an olive branch on the right side. And underneath it all, there is a red banner with the state's motto―Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.
Adopted - November 1, 1897
The flag of Rhode Island has a gold anchor, which represents hope, in the middle of a white background. Surrounding the anchor, there are 13 gold stars representing the 13 original colonies and Rhode Island being the 13th state to sign the Constitution. Underneath the anchor, there is a blue ribbon with the state's motto―Hope―inscribed in gold. Also, there is a golden fringe bordering 3 sides of the flag.
Adopted - January 28, 1861
The flag of South Carolina has a white palmetto tree in the center, and a white crescent moon at the upper left corner on an indigo background. The color of the flag is inspired by the uniforms worn by the South Carolina troops during the American Revolutionary War. The crescent moon was added to the flag because the caps worn by the troops had a silver emblem on it. And as for the palmetto tree, it is used to represent Col. William Moultrie's defense against the British cannons at Sullivan's Island.
Adopted - November 9, 1992
The flag of South Dakota has the Great Seal in the middle of a sky blue background. Inside the seal, there are hills, a river with a boat, mountains, a mine, cattle, and a farmer plowing the fields. Surrounding it are the words "State of South Dakota" and "Great Seal" along with the date "1889" inscribed in black. Circling around the seal, there are gold triangles that represent the sun's rays. And, circling all that are the words "SOUTH DAKOTA" on top, and "THE MOUNT RUSHMORE STATE" on the bottom.
Adopted - April 17, 1905
The flag of Tennessee has a blue circle with white border and 3 white stars inside it on a red background. The 3 stars represent the land forms in Tennessee―mountains in the east, highlands in the middle, and lowlands in the west. At the right edge of the flag, there is a vertical blue strip which was added so that the flag doesn't appear too crimson when it is limp.
Adopted - August 31, 1933
The flag of Texas has 2 horizontal stripes of white (symbol of strength) and red (symbol of bravery), and a single vertical stripe of blue (loyalty) on the left side with a big white star. The flag is also known as the "Lone Star Flag".
Adopted - March 9, 1911
The flag of Utah has the Great Seal inside a gold ring in the middle of a dark blue background. The seal has a bald eagle resting on top of a shield and the word "INDUSTRY" inscribed in it. Also, inside the shield is a beehive (state emblem), Sego Lily (state flower), and the date "1874" (when the first settlers arrived) inscribed in it. On either side of the shield are American flags.
Adopted - June 1, 1923
The flag of Vermont has the state's coat of arms in the middle of an azure background. Inside the coat of arms is a pine tree, a cow, the Green Mountains in the background, and 3 sheaves of wheat. Surrounding the coat of arms are 2 sprigs of pine needles and a red banner at the bottom which reads "VERMONT" and the state's motto―Freedom and Unity.
Adopted - January 31, 1861
The flag of Virginia has the obverse of the Great Seal in the middle of a blue background. In the middle of the seal, there are 2 men. One man is standing with his left leg over the other, and is holding a scourge in his right hand and a broken chain in his left hand. Above the standing man, the word "VIRGINIA" is inscribed, and below is the state's motto―Thus Always to Tyrants.
Adopted - 1923
The flag of Washington has the Great Seal on a dark green background. The seal has a portrait of George Washington along with the date "1889" and the text "The Seal of the State of Washington" inscribed in it.
Adopted - March 7, 1929
The flag of West Virginia has the coat of arms in the middle of a white background with a dark blue border. Inside the coat of arms is the Great Seal. In it is a rock with the date "June 20, 1863" inscribed on it; the day West Virginia became a state. On its either side, there are two men standing that represent farming and mining. Below the rock, there are 2 rifles along with the red Phrygian cap over it. Also, there is a red banner underneath with the state's motto―Mountaineers are Always Free. Around the coat of arms, there is a wreath made with rhododendron, the state flower.
Adopted - May 1, 1981
The flag of Wisconsin has the coat of arms in the middle of a blue background. Above the coat of arms, the word "WISCONSIN" is inscribed; and below it is the date "1848", the year Wisconsin was admitted into the Union. Inside the coat of arms, at the top, is the state's motto―FORWARD. Just below the word, there is a badger which is the state animal. In the middle of the coat of arms, there is a shield with a plow (symbol of agriculture) on the top left, a pick and a shovel (symbol of mining) on the top right, an arm with a hammer (symbol of manufacturing) on the bottom left, an anchor (symbol of navigation) on the bottom right, and the U.S. coat of arms with the inscription "Out of Many, One" in the center. Below the shield, there is a cornucopia on the left which represents prosperity and abundance, and 13 lead ingots on the right which represents mineral wealth and the 13 original colonies. On either side of the shield are two men―a sailor and a yeoman representing labor on water and land, respectively.
Adopted - March 4, 1917
The flag of Wyoming has the silhouette of an American bison with the state seal on it in the middle of a blue background with red and white borders. The blue background is the symbol of the color of the sky and the mountains, the red border is the symbol of the Native Americans and the blood given by the American pioneers, and the white border is the symbol of purity and uprightness. The bison represents Wyoming's fauna. Inside the seal is a woman holding the state's motto―Equal Rights―with two men who represent cattle ranchers and miners. On either side of the woman are 2 pillars with ribbons circling it, and the words―Livestock, Mines, Grains, and Oil―inscribed on it.
Now that you have read the meaning for every state flag, you will know that after careful deliberation, each flag has been designed with a purpose in mind. With their state seals, coat of arms, important dates, and state mottos, even a flag can give us a glimpse of the state's history.