Flag of Florida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flag of the state of Florida was adopted by popular referendum on September 24, 1900. The flag is rectangular with a white background and a red diagonal cross. The seal of the state of Florida appears in the center of the flag, at the intersection of the red stripes.

The red diagonal cross is reminiscent of the Cross of Burgundy flag that the Spanish navy used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, during which the empire colonized Florida. The seal of the state of Florida depicts a Native American Seminole woman spreading hibiscus flowers in the foreground. Florida’s state tree, the Sabal palm, appears behind the woman. A steamboat appears in the background as the suns rays break into the sky. A gold border encloses the seal. The text, “Great Seal of the State of Florida,” and “In God We Trust,” appear in red capital letters insider the border.

During the Civil War, when Florida seceded from the Union, the Florida Legislature passed a law authorizing Florida’s governor to design Florida’s first official state flag. Florida’s first flag was included a blue vertical field on the left side with Florida’s state seal (different from the current state seal) inside the blue field. The other region of the flag included two red horizontal stripes, one on the top of the flag and one on the bottom, with a white stripe in the center.

Between 1868 and 1900, Florida used a flag that featured the state’s seal on a white background. Just before the turn of the century, however, Florida’s Governor Francis P. Fleming suggested adding the red diagonal cross to Florida’s state flag. By adding color to the flag, the banner could not be mistaken as a flag of retreat, and the red stripes added significance as well. This decision was approved by popular referendum in 1900. In 1985, the graphics of the Florida state seal were improved slightly, and the flag changed subsequently as well.

Florida Flag

The flag of Florida consists of the seal of Florida emblazoned upon a white  background and a red saltire (diagonal cross). At first glance, the Florida flag seems strikingly simple – however upon further inspection, the intricacies of the flag of the “Sunshine State” start to become apparent.

florida flag

Despite the simplicity of the red cross on top of a white background, the centerpiece of the Florida flag is unusually complex.  Officially coined the “Great Seal of the State of Florida”, the centerpiece in the Florida flag does its best to represent the many facets of Florida life.

First and perhaps most obviously, the seal depicts a Seminole woman standing on the Floridian shoreline spreading Hibisucus flowers.  A steamboat can be seen in the background of the seal, sailing off into the strikingly beautiful Floridian horizon.  Also pictured on the seal of Florida is the state tree – the Sabal Palm.  Encircling the entire scene are the words “GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA” and “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

Originally, the design of the Flag of Florida consisted of no more than the seal of Florida atop a white background.  However, this was changed in the late 1890s according to the wishes of General Francis P Fleming, who suggested that a red cross be added to the background so that the flag would not appear to simply represent the white flag of surrender when floating atop the flagpole.

One interesting thing to note about Florida is the fact that at least 16 different flags have flown over Florida at various times during its history.  Currently, there is even a small grassroots movement aimed at redesigning the Florida flag yet again to commemorate Florida’s 500th anniversary.  The future of the Florida flag remains yet to be seen – however one thing is very apparent, and that is that the Florida flag has perhaps one of the richest histories of any flag in the Untied States of America.