Every State’s Flag and What It Represents

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Alabama
> Flag design: A crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white
> Officially adopted on: 1895

Alabama’s flag design is very similar to the Spanish Cross of Burgundy, used in southern Alabama until the 1800s. The original square shape symbolized the battle flag of the Confederate States of America, which featured a blue diagonal cross, trimmed with white — with 13 white stars for the 11 states of the Confederacy plus Missouri and Kentucky — on a red field.

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Alaska
> Flag design: 8 gold stars, forming the Big Dipper and Polaris, on a dark blue field
> Officially adopted on: 1921

Alaska’s state flag, designed by a 13-year-old orphan, Benny Benson, features the Big Dipper, also known as the Great Bear constellation. The Big Dipper is a symbol of strength. The Polaris, or North Star, on the flag is a symbol of Alaska’s northern location. The blue background represents the sky.

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Arizona
> Flag design: 13 rays of red and weld-yellow on the top half
> Officially adopted on: 1917

The copper star on Arizona’s flag signifies the state’s copper production. Arizona produces more copper than any other state in the country. The 13 gold and red rays on the flag are a symbol of the sun setting over the western desert and the original 13 colonies.

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Arkansas
> Flag design: A red field with a large blue-bordered white diamond, and 29 stars
> Officially adopted on: 1913

The large diamond in the middle of Arkansas’ flag represents the state as the first in the country to produce diamonds. The 25 white stars signify that Arkansas was the 25th state to join the Union. The three blue stars below the state’s name on the flag represent the three nations that Arkansas was part of before it officially became a state — Spain, France, and the U.S. The lone star above the word “ARKANSAS” represents the state’s membership in the Confederacy.

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California
> Flag design: A red star, a red stripe along the bottom, and a California grizzly bear
> Officially adopted on: 1911

California’s flag showcases the state’s official animal, the grizzly bear, which portrays strength. The star represents sovereignty as do the words “California Republic.” The flag was first raised at Sonoma, California, in 1846 by American settlers in revolt, proclaiming California to be an independent republic.

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