The flag of the state of Ohio is one of the most unique state flags of the United States because it is the only state flag in the nation that is not rectangular. John Eisemann designed the flag of the state of Ohio for the Pan-American Exposition, a world’s fair in Buffalo, NY, in 1901. The flag was officially adopted in 1902.
The flag of the state of Ohio is a non-rectangular, swallow-tailed shape. The top and bottom hems of the flag taper inwards towards the flag’s fly end and a triangular portion of the flag is removed from the fly end. Although the only state flag of the U.S. to use this shape, this swallow-tailed element of the flag is common military units.
Like most state flags, the design of the flag of the state of Ohio holds great significance in terms of Ohio’s admittance to the Union, the people of Ohio, and the state’s natural elements. The flag has five large horizontal stripes: the top, bottom, and middle stripes are red and the stripes in between the red stripes are white. This not only bears similarity to the flag of the United States, but also represents Ohio’s roads and rivers.
The large blue triangle with white stars inside that appears on the left side of the flag is another feature of the Ohio flag that reflects the design of the U.S. flag. The blue triangle also symbolizes Ohio’s hills and valleys. The white stars on the Ohio state flag are divided into two groups: there are thirteen stars on the left side of the flag and four, more widely spaced stars on the right. The thirteen stars represent the thirteen original colonies of the United States. The other four stars, when combined with the thirteen, add up to seventeen stars, representing Ohio’s admittance to the Union as the seventeenth state.
Finally, the white circle with the red center in the middle of the blue triangle is truly unique to Ohio. The white circle represents the letter “O” for Ohio. Adding the red center alludes to Ohio’s nickname, the “Buckeye State.” Not only the name of the Ohio State University sports teams, the buckeye refers to the Ohio state tree, which produces nuts that resemble a buckeye.