January 29, 1861

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"Sunflower State"

The Kansas STATE FLAG was first adopted in 1925 and revised in both 1927 and again in 1963.  The State Seal is centered on the flag just below a sunflower.  Inside the seal depicting frontier life (with a farmer plowing and awagon train in the background) is a banner with 34 stars, noting the admission of Kansas as our 34th State.  The banner over the field of stars contains the motto of Kansas and is translated:



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June 20, 1863

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"Mountain State"



As you learned earlier if you've been doing the Hall of Heroes tour, the problems between the people of West Virginia and Virginia were not simply a Civil War conflict.  The independent spirit of the rugged pioneers of the West Virginia area clashed with the more proper ways of Virginia aristocracy.  This independent spirit is shown in the  hunter and miner displayed on the State Flag adopted in 1905 (and modified in 1907 and 1929), along with the West Virginia motto which is translated as:



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October 31, 1864

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"Silver State"


The Flag of Nevada was adopted in 1929 and features a blue field with a silver star.  The silver of the star represents the rich mining industry of the "Silver State".  A spray of SAGEBRUSH, Nevada's State Flower, highlights the star of our 36th State.   Nevada joined the Union in 1864 during the height of the Civil War, hence its motto:



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March 1, 1867

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"Cornhusker State"

The SEAL of the State of Nebraska is the sole image on the STATE FLAG adopted in 1925.  Visible on the seal is the Rocky Mountains and Missouri River, two important geographical features.  The large state of Nebraska relied heavily on advancements in transportation and the seal features a train and steam ship, along with a blacksmith, wheat and corn to represent the lifestyle of the Nebraska citizens.  Nebraska's flag is the only State Flag to bear the full date of statehood...month, day, and year.


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August 1, 1876

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"Centennial State"

Originally incorporated as the State of Jefferson, Colorado was admitted to the Union on the 100th Anniversary of Independence, hence the nickname "Centennial State".  The State flag was adopted in 1911 and modified in 1964.  The gold and silver representede the rich minerals being mined in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.  Both of these colors, along with blue, are found in the State Flower, the Rocky Mountain columbine.  The red comes from the Spanish word for that color- "COLORADO".


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November 2, 1889

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"Peace Garden State"

The flag adopted by North Dakota in 1911 bears a striking resemblance to the military flags earlier used by the Dakota Territorial Guard and then the North Dakota National Guard.  It displays the United States coat of arms complete with eagle and thirteen stars, as well as our national motto:

"E Plurabus Unum"


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November 2, 1889

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"Coyote State"


North and South Dakota  achieved statehood separately on the same date, November 2, 1889.   While North Dakota's State Flag was adopted in 1911, South Dakota was the LAST State to formally adopt its STATE FLAG (1963).  The Seal of the State appears on a sunburst against a backdrop of blue and encircled by the State's Name.  While the flag refers to it as the "Sunshine State" (like FLORIDA), the State is nicknamed the "Coyote State".  Inside the seal are symbols representing industry, agriculture, ranching, commerce, and the State's natural wonders.


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November 8, 1889

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"Treasure State"




When Montana was admitted to the Union in 1889 is was the third largest state in terms of land (behind only Texas and California), and one of the most sparcely population.  The STATE FLAG was adopted in 1905 and modified in 1981.  In addition to the State's name the flag bears the Seal of the State depicting the Great Falls of the Missouri River and the sun rising over the Rocky Mountains.  The plow in the foreground represents the strong agricultural activity of the state and the motto printed on the banner at the bottom attests to the rich mining deposits of the State and translates:



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November 11, 1889

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"Evergreen State"


When Washington was admitted to the Union in 1889 it became the first, and ONLY state to be named for an American president.  (Originally Colorado was incorporated as the State of Jefferson, but the name was changed before statehood.)  As such George Washington's image appeared State Seal.  The Washington STATE FLAG was adopted in 1923 and revised in 1967.  The green of the flag represents the nickname given the State.


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July 3, 1890

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"Gem State"


The Idaho STATE FLAG was adopted in 1927, and like so many other state flags consists primarily of the State Seal.  Inside the seal are symbols dedicated to representing the diversity of life in Idaho including mining, logging, and agriculture.  The head of a large bull elk looks out from behind the Rocky Mountains.  The figures of two people are also represented on the seal, one that of a miner and the other of a woman with a staff...the latter a tribute to the rights of women.  The state motto printed at the top of the seal is translated:



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July 10, 1890

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"Equality State"




The red, white and blue of the STATE FLAG adopted by Wyoming in 1917 has nothing to do with our National colors.  In the Wyoming Flag the red represents Native Americans who populated the State, white represents purity, and the blue is for the sky, justice, and loyalty.   The State Seal appears on the white silhouette of a bison (or buffalo).   Wyoming's admission for statehood was opposed by many in Congress who opposed the right of women to vote.  Until the 19th Amendment  was approved in 1920, women did not have a Constitutional right to vote...except in the Territory of Wyoming where women had been voting since 1869.  Hence the nickname given Wyoming as THE EQUALITY STATE.


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45  UTAH

January 4, 1896

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"Beehive State"



Utah adopted their STATE FLAG in 1911 and modified it two years later.  The state included the American Eagle and United States Flags to show its loyalty to the Nation.  The BEEHIVE in the center symbolized the industry of the state, and on either side among the green leaves is the State Flower, the sego lily.  Early settlers to Utah were spared starvation by eating the sego lily.  Two dates appear on the flag, the date of statehood in 1896 and the year Brigham Young's party arrived in the Utah Territory.   When Utah was granted statehood in 1896 it brought the total number of United States to 45.  It was the last of 29 states to be added to the Union in the 1800s.


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November 16, 1907

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"Sooner State"


Born on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the first State of the Twentieth Century.     The STATE FLAG was adopted in 1925 and modified in 1941, then changed again in 1988.  The blue background of the flag stands for loyalty.  The shield in the center is a replica of those common among the OSAGE INDIANS and represents defense.   The small crosses on the shield represent LOFTY IDEALS.  Across the face of the shield is an olive branch and calumet (peace pipe), symbols of a dedication to PEACE.


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January 6, 1912

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"Land of Enchantment"

The FLAG of New Mexico was adopted in 1925, thirteen years after statehood was granted.  The red and gold of the flag are the colors of Spain, and symbolize the heritage of the State.   The red symbol in the center of the flag was a graphic used by the Zia tribe of American Indians to represent the sun.


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February 14, 1912

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"Grand Canyon State"




Slightly more than a month after New Mexico was admitted as our 47th state, Arizona was added to the Union as Number 48.  For 47 years, longer than any other State in American history, Arizona's star was the last star on the flag.  (Not until 2007 will Hawaii have the opportunity to break this record.)

The red and yellow of the STATE FLAG adopted in 1917 are the colors of SPAIN and reflect the State's heritage.  The blue base represents the United States of America to which Arizona was joined.  The copper of the single star symbolizes Arizona's rich mineral resources.   The red and yellow streaks are designed to suggest the sun setting over the Arizona desert.


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January 3, 1959

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"The Last Frontier"

In 1927, twenty-two years before statehood was granted to Alaska, a contest was held to design a flag for the Alaska Territory.  Thirteen year old Benny Benson won the contest with his design recalling the dark blue of the Alaska sky and the gold of its bright stars.   Benny's winning design depicted the North Star in the upper right corner of the flag, and the BIG DIPPER in the lower portion of the STATE FLAG.


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August 21, 1959

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"Aloha State"

Hawaii became our 50th State in 1959 however its STATE FLAG may be the oldest.  It was adopted in 1816 and modified in 1845.  The eight red, white and blue stripes represent the EIGHT principal islands of Hawaii.  The UNION JACK recalls the flag presented to King Kamehameha I of Hawaii by Captain George Vancouver in 1793.


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