Iowa was included in the Louisiana Purchase, came under US control in 1803, and became the 29th state on December 28, 1846. The state flag was not adopted until 1921 when it was designed by a Mrs. Dixie Gebhardt who was from the Daughters of the American Revolution of Iowa. The flag’s colors are red, white, and blue, and take on the same tricolor pattern as the French flag, paying homage to its French roots. The white center of the flag is larger and has a bald eagle holding a flowing ribbon in its beak. The ribbon reads, “Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.”
Iowa’s state capital is Des Moines which had been named after a military post called Fort Des Moines that had been established along the Des Moines river during the 1840s. The city was officially incorporated on September 22, 1851. The city has a population of over 204,000 (as of the 2010 Census) but a Metro population of nearly 570,000.
Iowa got its state name is from the word Ioway, the French version of the name Bah-kho-je, which was the name of the Indian tribe that lived in the area.
Well known Iowans-31st US President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, IA, on August 10, 1874.
Actor John Wayne (born as Marion Mitchell Morrison) was born in Winterset, IA on May 26, 1907.
The flag of Iowa was adopted on March 12, 1921. The flag is rectangular with three vertical stripes: the stripe on the left is blue, the stripe on the right is red, and the larger center stripe is white. A bald eagle appears in flight in the white stripe, holding a blue ribbon with the following white text: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” The word “IOWA” is also included towards the bottom of the white stripe in red capitol letters.
Although the state of Iowa was admitted to the Union on December 28, 1946, it was not until the United States entered World War I that Iowans felt the need for a state flag. It was expected that Iowans would fight in state regiments, as in previous wars, and Iowans finally desired a banner to designate their respective units. Fortunately, the Iowa Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was interested in designing a state flag.
On May 11, 1917, members of the Society as well as Mrs. Dixie Gephardt, the flag’s designer, presented the flag before the State Council on National Defense. The Council approved the flag, after which the Daughters of the American Revolution manufactured and presented Iowa flags to each of the Iowa National Guard regiments. Unfortunately, shortly after the flag was approved, the U.S. War Department adopted a policy assigning soldiers to military regiments without regard to state residency, and the Iowa flags were not used during the war. Still the Iowa flag was used by the State National Guard and is still used today.