Monday, October 05, 2009

Symbolism of Arkansas flag

This is for Katie and Dad, and anyone else who was wondering.

The flag's elements have a complex symbolism. According to the 1987 state law defining the flag,[1] the diamond represents Arkansas' status as "the only diamond-bearing state in the Union". (Crater of Diamonds State Park was the only diamond mine in North America at the time, before more recent discoveries in Colorado and Montana.) The number (25) of white stars around the border of the diamond represents Arkansas's position as the 25th state to join the union. The blue star above "ARKANSAS" represents the Confederate States of America, which Arkansas joined in secession.
The three stars below "ARKANSAS" have three separate meanings[2]:
The three nations to which Arkansas has belonged (Spain, France, and the U.S.)
The Louisiana Purchase, which brought Arkansas into the U.S., was signed in 1803.
Arkansas was the third state (after Louisiana and Missouri) formed from the Louisiana Purchase.
The statute states that the two outer, upward-pointing stars of the three are considered "twin stars" representing the "twin states" of Arkansas and Michigan, which it claims were admitted together on June 15, 1836. However, that part of the statute contains two inaccuracies:
The three stars were in a single row in Hocker's original design; they weren't arranged in a triangle until later. Though one source indicates that the "twin states" symbolism was added by the 1924 Legislature[3], another states Hocker's "twin stars" are actually two of the 25 stars in the diamond, in the far left and right points[2]; the latter is more consistent with the original design, even though Michigan is actually the 26th state.
While both states' acts of admission were signed by President Andrew Jackson on that day and Arkansas became a state immediately, Michigan was offered admission only on condition of ceding the Toledo Strip to Ohio in exchange for the Upper Peninsula. Once that happened, it was finally admitted January 26, 1837.
Some believe that the flag bears a resemblance to the Confederate Battle Flag. Though the colors and star pattern are similar, the flag does not have the saltire pattern of the Confederate Flag. In addition, the history of the flag clearly shows that it was not considered to honor the Confederacy until the fourth star was added for that specific purpose in 1923.
**I got this info from Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Kathryn S. said...

Cooool. I don't even know that much information about our state flag.