Nevada State Flag History

Aug 20th, 2016

Nevada became the 36th state admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864. The first official state flag was adopted in 1905. It was designed by Governor John Sparks and Colonel Harry Day. The design included the state’s natural resources, gold and silver. The blue color that was chosen for the field was the same blue that is used on the United State national flag.


Nevada 1905


The flag was changed in 1926 after Maurice Sullivan, the Lieutenant Governor, decided that the design cost too much to produce and prevented it from being widely displayed. As a result, a flag contest was initiated. Louis Schellbach III was the winner of the contest. His flag kept the blue field, not removed the coat of arms and replaced it with a sagebrush wreath that cradled a silver star. Above that design the words “Battle Born” was used.


Schellbach’s flag was not officially adopted by Nevada until 1929. The delay was caused because Schellbach’s flag did not contain the state name in the design. Once that issue was worked out by the legislature, the flag was finally officially adopted.


Nevada 1919


But, an error occurred. The committee looking at the bill presented by the senate wanted the state name to appear around the silver star. The assembly did not like the design. A compromise was worked out that would display the state name below the sagebrush wreath. But, the bill that was signed by the governor included the committee recommendation, rather than the compromise. As a result, from 1929, until the error was discovered in 1989 by a legislative researcher.


A bill was introduced in 1991 to correct the placement of the state name on the flag. It was decided by the legislature that the state name would not be placed in either place, rather it would be placed in a semi-circle below the star, but above the wreath.


Nevada Flag


What do the State Flag Colors Mean?


Legend indicates that the sagebrush used for the wreath represents the state flower; the silver star represents Nevada’s mineral resources; the words Battle Born represent the fact that Nevada became a state during the Civil War; the color blue on the field, based on the blue used in the national flag, means, vigilance, loyalty, and justice; green represents the earth and fertility; and gold represents wealth and generosity.


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