Fifty states make up the United States of America, each with its own culture, history, and flag. Each state is different, so when you cross the borders of one state and into another, you can see what makes every state special. Some state flags in America are especially memorable, standing out from the rest of the other states’ flags. While each flag is iconic, some flags have much more to offer and a lot more to remember.

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The 10 Most Memorable State Flags in America 3

New Mexico

One of America’s best and most memorable state flags is the New Mexico state flag. New Mexico is a state in the southwestern region of the US and was previously a part of Mexico and Spain. The New Mexico flag is one of the more recognizable flags in America, as it is a bright yellow-gold color with a scarlet red sun symbol from the Zia people. The state adopted the flag in 1925 to highlight the region’s rich history, as the sun symbol recognizes the Native roots of the state, while the colors reference Spain’s flag.


Another state with a super memorable flag is Louisiana. Some people in other states and countries quickly forget Louisiana, but taking one look at the state flag would change that. The flag boasts a very deep and vibrant blue, and in the middle, a pelican vulns itself to feed her babies. It is one of the few state flags to feature an animal, and underneath the pelican is a white ribbon with the state motto, “Union Justice Confidence.”

The symbolism behind the pelican vulning itself is the belief that a pelican has the power to bring its dead young to life with its blood. The makers of the flag wanted to emphasize this theme of self-sacrifice.


Another state with an animal on the flag that you will have a hard time forgetting is California. The flag boasts a white background, a red star, a red stripe, the words “California Republic,” and a big grizzly bear. As a flag, its stark design makes it stand out from the rest of the other state flags, but there is also some symbolism behind the bear and the star. A group in what is now modern-day California tried to seek independence from Mexico in 1836, and they used a Lone Star Flag, which is where the state flag’s star comes from.

The bear symbol has a similar story. In 1846, there was the Bear Flag Revolt, where a group did the same thing—trying to break away from Mexico. Their flag was very simple, boasting a star and a red bear. Today’s flag looks very different from its predecessors, and it is one of the flags you will be hard-pressed to forget.


While the states mentioned already are memorable and look great, there are also memorable flags that may be memorable for reasons beyond their appearances. In the middle of a dark green field, the Washington flag has its state seal, a drawing of George Washington surrounded by the words “The Seal of the State of Washington 1889.” It is very simple, and it is the only state flag with an image of an American President. These factors make it memorable, but people may not remember the Washington flag as iconic for all the right reasons.


The flag of Maryland is one of the more memorable flags, and that’s because it consists of the 17th-century heraldic banner of arms of Cecil, the second Baron of Baltimore. He was the first proprietor of the province of Maryland, long before it was even a state. It’s an interesting history, but when you see the flag, you can understand why it’s so memorable. Cecil’s banner of arms consisted of his father George’s banner, and it’s quartered with his grandmother’s banner. The flag has four sections, and it features red, gold, and black.


Texas is one of the states that almost everyone thinks about when they think about America, and this state’s flag is equally noteworthy. It’s noticeably similar to the American flag but with some slight differences. Whereas the American flag has 13 stripes and 50 stars, the Texas flag only has one star and two stripes. In addition to representing Texas as a state, it is also one of the two state flags that served as the national flag for an independent country—in this case, the Republic of Texas.


Like Texas, the flag of Hawaii is also especially memorable because it represented the state when it was its own country, the Republic of Hawaii. The flag is also memorable because it sports the Union Jack since Hawaii previously had a relationship with the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. As with the Texas and US flags, this flag also sports red, white, and blue. Even though America overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, the people of Hawaii chose to continue using the flag.


There are a lot of complicated state flags in America, but Alaska is not one of them. Even though it’s the biggest state in the country, Alaskans didn’t feel the need to do a lot to represent their state. A 13-year-old boy designed the flag in a 1927 contest, giving it a dark blue color to represent the sky and the forget-me-not flower. On this blue field sits a gold Polaris star and the stars of the Ursa Major constellation. This state flag is simple, elegant, and unforgettable.


Formally adopted in 2006, Oklahoma’s flag features one Osage Nation buffalo-skin shield and seven eagle feathers. The flag’s background is sky-blue, and the state’s name is underneath the symbols. Like New Mexico, Oklahoma is one of the states with the largest Native American population. This flag represents the Native American history and culture that make up the state today.

South Carolina

Joining the theme of simple flags, South Carolina’s is one you’ll have a hard time forgetting. This flag features a dark blue background, a crescent moon, and the simple design of the palmetto tree. The tree is popular, but the flag’s designers added it to refer to Governor Moultrie’s use of palmetto tree trunks to defend Sullivan’s Island during the Revolutionary War.

These are some of America’s most memorable state flags, but it doesn’t mean that the other state flags aren’t memorable. There are 50 different state flags and some territory flags as well, which means there are many to choose from. However, every flag does an excellent job of representing its state. If you’re interested in getting your own flag, come to us at Flags USA. We have plenty of different state flags for sale, so you can get the flag from your home state and fly it high!

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Whether you’re flying flags to honor a loved one, celebrate our troops, or anything in between, you must follow the flag codes. When that comes to military flags, there’s an order in which you must display your flags. Not following this order could get you in trouble, but it’s also disrespectful to the people you’re supposed to be honoring. Learn the order and be sure to follow it the next time you’re honoring the soldiers or throwing any kind of event with military flags.

The Order

There are multiple branches of the Armed Forces in the United States, each with a different flag. On many occasions, you may need to fly all the flags at once, but you must fly them in a specific order:

*Position changes depending on whether or not we are at war.

It’s important to note that in wartime, the Coast Guard serves as a part of the Navy. When that happens, the Coast Guard flag moves up right behind the Navy flag.

Why Is It This Way?

Many people may wonder why we fly military flags in this order. The standard rule is that they are displayed according to each military branch’s founding date. Although this is generally true, there are some exceptions, most notably the order of the Navy and the Marine Corps flags. The Navy was founded about a month before the Marine Corps, which is itself under the Navy’s authority. However, throughout history, the Marine Corps staunchly defended its original date as November 10, 1775. In contrast, the Navy cited several dates before settling on October 10, 1775. As a result, the Marine Corps flag comes first.

The other exception is the Coast Guard flag. In this case, the position changes depending on whether we are at peace or war. While we are at war, the Coast Guard operates under the Department of Defense, so its flag is displayed after the Navy’s. During peacetime, the Coast Guard is instead a part of the Department of Homeland Security. While it’s not an active defender, it has been before, so it still flies with the rest of the flags, but in the last position.

Other Flag Codes

If you’re also flying a state flag or POW/MIA flag, they will go between the National and Army flags. The state flag can fly underneath the national flag, but it must be at least one size smaller. The same applies to the POW/MIA flag when flown on the same flagpole. You can also fly other countries’ flags. For example, you’ll likely see their flags in a parade celebrating different groups, like Italian Americans or Mexican Americans. When flying other countries’ flags, you must fly them at the same height as the National flag to show proper respect.

Knowing the order in which you should display your military flags will simultaneously help you honor the soldiers and the flags. However, you will still need to get the flags after knowing the order. Depending on the event you’re throwing, you may need some high-quality outdoor military flags. If that’s the case, look no further than Flags USA. We make all our flags right here in America, so be sure to come to us for all your flag needs!

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