Washington State Flag History

Nov 9th, 2016

Washington was the 42nd state admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889. It did not adopt an official state flag until 1923.


Washington State Flag


The Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR, asked the state to send a flag to Washington, D.C. for inclusion in the DAR Memorial Continental Hall in 1914. When it was discovered that the state did not have an official flag, the DAR organized a committee to design a flag. Their design featured a green field with the Washington state seal featured in the center. The resulting banner was sent to Washington, D.C. and displayed at the Memorial Continental Hall until 1916 when it was returned to Washington for use by the DAR.


The DAR flag was officially adopted in 1923 by the Washington Legislature without the signature of the Governor. The flag statute dictated that the flag feature the state seal on a field of dark green silk or bunting, and the option of attaching green fringe. In 1925, the legislature revised the law to dictate that the fringe should be gold or yellow, to match the seal, rather than green.


The field of green represents Washington, the evergreen state, and the year 1889 represents the year that the state was admitted to the Union.


The Washington state seal consists of a blue background containing an image of George Washington that is surrounded by two circles. The area between the circles is gold and contains the words “The Seal of the State of Washington 1889” in black lettering. The seal was designed by Charles Talcott in 1889.


In 1929, Governor Hartley was presented with a state flag by the DAR. That flag is still on display in the Capitol reception room.


In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association, NAVA, conducted a survey of flags that included Canadian provinces and American states and territories. The Washington state flag was rated 47 out of 72 flags. Flags that contained state seals did not rate very high in the NAVA survey.


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