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.