April 28, 1788
The symbols of the Calvert and Crossland families are united in the quarters of the Maryland STATE FLAG as the coat of arms of the Lords Baltimore. Similar flags appeared in Maryland as early as 1638, and this official state flag was adopted in 1904.
8 SOUTH CAROLINA
May 23, 1788
The white tree in the center of the South Carolina STATE FLAG is their state tree, the palmetto. The flag itself is based upon the flag flown by South Carolina patriots defending FORT MOULTRIE during the American Revolution. The Fort Moultrie flag flag can be seen in our archives and consisted of a blue banner with a white crescent moon across which was written the word "LIBERTY".
South Carolina was adopted their official state flag in 1861 when the state declared independence from the United States early in the Civil War. Though many states adopted designs for their flags that had existed for hundreds of years, only the state flags of Texas and Hawaii are OFFICIALLY older as STATE FLAGS, than the flag of South Carolina.
9 NEW HAMPSHIRE
June 21, 1788
Nine stars encircle the seal of the State of New Hampshire, designating its rank as our ninth state. The date of the American Revolution (1776) is printed at the bottom of the seal which depicts a ship in recognition of New Hampshire's important role as a major ship builder for the new United States Navy during the Revolution.
June 25, 1788
Vines called "Virginia creepers" encircle the emblem of a woman with a king underfoot (note the crown has fallen from his head) in the STATE FLAG adopted by Virginia in 1861. One of our oldest OFFICIAL state flags, the Latin words at the bottom describe the action in the center:
"THUS EVER TO TYRANTS"
11 NEW YORK
July 26, 1788
New York's STATE FLAG, adopted in 1901, depicts the goddess of LIBERTY and the goddess of JUSTICE standing on either side of a shield bearing a colorful portrait of shipping on New York's Hudson River. At the top of the shield an American Eagle perches above the world, and at the bottom is the state motto:
12 NORTH CAROLINA
November 21, 1789
"Tar Heel State"
North Carolina combined a single red and white stripe and a field of blue in the STATE FLAG adopted in 1885. The initials of the state are separated by a single star signifying statehood. The banner at the top indicates the date the North Carolina residents of MECKLENBURG are purported to have issued the first American Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775. (Though most of Congress discounted reports of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson refered to it as "spurious", it is recognized by the state as a key moment in state history.) The date of April 12, 1776 is displayed below the star of North Carolina to commemorate the Halifax Resolves.
13 RHODE ISLAND
May 29, 1790
Two and a half years after Delaware became our first state, under threat of being treated as a foreign nation, Rhode Island finally ratified the Constitution and became our 13th State. In 1647 Rhode Island adopted an anchor as the Colony's symbol of HOPE. During the American Revolution, Rhode Island patriots fought under a flag with an anchor and 13 stars. In 1897 this design was adopted as the official STATE FLAG of our 13th state.