History of the Flag of Rhode Island

Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the country, but it still has its own official flag. It consists of a gold-colored anchor encircled by a ring of stars. Below the anchor is the word “HOPE.”  The flag of Rhode Island features a simple design that’s become synonymous with the coastal state. Even if you’ve seen the flag of Rhode Island, though, you may not know its history. This post explores the history of the flag of Rhode Island and what it symbolizes.

Origins of the Flag of The Rhode Island

The flag of Rhode Island was officially adopted in the late 1900s. In 1897, Rhode Island lawmakers passed legislation declaring the aforementioned design as the state’s official flag. The legislation specifically states the following: “The flag of the state shall be white, five feet and six inches, fly and four feet and ten inches, deep on the pike, bearing on each side in the center a gold anchor, twenty-two inches, high, and underneath it a blue ribbon twenty-four inches long and five inches wide.”

Before the flag of Rhode Island was officially adopted, though, the state had its own seal. Most states have an official seal, and Rhode Island is no exception. Rhode Island’s seal has remained unchanged for many years. Long before the flag of Rhode Island was adopted, it had a seal consisting of an anchor with the word “HOPE” below.

What Does the Flag of Rhode Island Symbolize?

The gold-colored anchor depicted in the flag of Rhode Island symbolizes hope, which is reinforced by the word “HOPE” found directly below it. You may notice the flag of Rhode Island also has 13 stars. Like with the 13 stripes depicted in the American flag, the 13 stars depicted in the flag of Rhode Island symbolize the original 13 colonies. More importantly perhaps, Rhode Island was the 13th state to sign the Constitution. Therefore,  the official flag of Rhode Island features a ring of 13 stars that wrap around the gold-colored anchor.

What Is the Flag of the Governor of Rhode Island?

There’s also the flag of the Governor of Rhode Island. It doesn’t feature the same design as the official flag of Rhode Island. Rather, the flag of the Governor of Rhode Island features a gold fringed-anchor in the center with four stars in the corners. At the top of the flag of the Governor of Rhode Island is the phrase “STATE of RHODE ISLAND.”

LIKE WHAT YOU READ?
Join thousands of others receiving our newsletter.
JOIN