Florida State Flag History

Sep 18th, 2016

Florida was the 27th state admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845. The official state flag currently in use was adopted in 1900 after a constitutional amendment was passed that updated the design.


Florida Flag


The state flew several unofficial flags up until it seceded from the Union in January 1861. Shortly after that event, a law was passed that gave Governor Perry authorization to design an official flag. The left half of the flag had a blue field and featured the Florida seal, while the other half was three wide bands of red, white and red. It is not known whether the flag was actually flown on the battlefield or at the state Capitol.


Florida 1861

Image courtesy of Florida Department of State


In 1868, Florida adopted its second official flag after the Constitutional Convention declared that, as soon as convenient, the legislature should "adopt a State Emblem having the design of the Great Seal of the State impressed upon a white ground of six feet six inches fly and six feet deep."


Florida 1868

Image courtesy of Florida Department of State


The flag remained the same until 1900 when the legislature ratified a Constitutional amendment that added diagonal red bars. Legend indicates that Governor Francis P. Fleming thought that the official state flag looked like a white truce or surrender flag, and demanded that it be changed by adding a red X to the field. It is said that his demand is the incentive that resulted in the Constitutional amendment and the flag design as it is displayed today.


Florida’s official state flag was ranked 34th in the North American Vexillological Association’s 2001 survey. The poll included 72 flags from Canadian provinces and U.S. states and territories.


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