Flag of Delaware

October 31, 2011

The flag of the state of Delaware was adopted on July 24, 1913. The flag is rectangular with a colonial blue background. The center of the flag features a buff-colored diamond and the Delaware coat of arms appears inside the diamond. The date December 7, 1787 appears on the bottom of the flag below the coat of arms. This date refers to the day on which the state of Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States constitution. This bold action made Delaware the first official state in the Union, and because of this, Delaware holds first position at national events like presidential inaugurations.

The other elements of Delaware’s state flag have important meaning for the state and recall the Revolutionary era. The blue and buff colors on the state flag of Delaware, for example, symbolize the colors of George Washington’s uniform.

The elements of the coat of arms also represent important people and industries of the state of Delaware during the Revolutionary era. The center of the coat of arms features a shield with horizontal red, blue, and white stripes. An ear of corn and sheaf of wheat appear in the red stripe, symbolizing the importance of agriculture in Delaware’s economy. The blue stripe is plain, representing the Delaware River, and the river’s importance to Delaware’s transportation and economy. An ox appears in the white stripe and reflects the importance of animals in Delaware’s economy. A ship appears above the shield, symbolizing the importance of shipbuilding and trade to Delaware’s economic livelihood.

Two men appear on either side of the coat of arms: a farmer with a hoe and a militiaman with a musket. These two men reinforce the importance of farming in Delaware and also emphasize the importance of the militia—an army made up of civilians—in gaining independence during the Revolution. Under the shield and the men are the words “Liberty and Independence,” Delaware’s state motto.


State Flag of Indiana

October 6, 2011

The flag of the state of Indiana was adopted on May 31, 1917. The flag is rectangular with a blue background and features a gold torch. Thirteen gold stars surround the flag in a circular shape and five gold stars make up an inner semicircle. Just above the torch is one more star and the word, “INDIANA,” in gold lettering.

The symbolism of the Indiana state flag is relatively simple, although very meaningful. The torch symbolizes liberty and enlightenment, and the six rays around the torch’s flame represent the broadness and expansiveness of these values. As with other state flags that include thirteen stars, the thirteen gold stars that encircle the torch represent the thirteen original colonies of the United States. Indiana was the nineteenth state to enter the Union; and the five stars in the semicircle on the lower half of the flag symbolize the five states that entered the Union before Indiana. The star at the top of the torch, the largest star on the flag, stands for Indiana.

Although Indiana became a member of the United States in 1816, the state did not have a flag until its residents celebrated the Indiana Centennial in 1916. In anticipation of the centennial, the Indiana General Assembly requested that the Daughters of the American Revolution Indiana Chapter sponsor a contest for the state flag’s design.

After more than two hundred submissions were submitted, Paul Hadley, an artist living in Mooresville, Indiana, won the design contest, as well as a cash prize of one hundred dollars. The state flag was officially adopted on May 31, 1917, with the addition of the word “INDIANA” to Hadley’s original design. Since the flag’s adoption in 1917, the flag’s design has remained unchanged with the exception of a 1955 statute that standardized the flag’s dimensions.