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The Arizona State Flag

The birth of the Arizona State Flag can be traced back to the 1910 National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio before Arizona officially entered the Union. Shooting matches began at Camp Perry in 1907 and rapidly developed into a prestigious annual event that continues to this day.

Members of the visiting Arizona Rifle Team noticed that all of the other "state" rifle teams carried flags or emblems. The Arizona team had no such flag or emblem and brought this to the attention of Arizona National Guard Colonel Charles Wilfred Harris, who was serving as the team captain. The team suggested that a flag be created to represent the Arizona Rifle Team at future National Rifle Matches.

The idea for the design of the flag was conceived of by Colonel Harris and by Carl Hayden, Arizona's first representative in Congress who went on to become a United States Senator. Their first priorities for the design were that it contain historical values and that its colors should reflect those values.

Arizona state flag
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Designed by Colonel Charles W. Harris, the first flag, carried by the Arizona Rifle Team to the National Rifle Matches in 1911, was sewn by Carl Hayden's wife, Nan D. Hayden.

In 1912, now serving as Adjutant General of Arizona, Colonel Harris designed a state flag that was similar to the flag that he designed for the Arizona Rifle Team.

Measuring four feet high and six feet wide, the flag is divided into a top and bottom half with a large five-point copper star in the center.

The top half of the flag represents the 13 original colonies of the United States and the western setting sun. The copper star in the center of the flag identifies Arizona as the largest copper producing state in the union.

The lower half of the flag is a field of blue, the same Liberty Blue found in the United States' Flag. The red found in the rays of the setting sun is also the same shade of red found in the United States' Flag. The Blue of the lower half of the flag and the yellow of the western setting sun are the Arizona State Colors. The red and yellow colors found in the rays are the colors flown by the Spanish Conquistadors led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in his unsuccessful search for the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540.

The Arizona State Flag was adopted by the Arizona State Legislature on February 27, 1917. The blue, red, yellow and copper flag was adopted despite numerous dissenting votes and then Governor Campbell's refusal to sign the bill.

Arizona Flag Law

The following information was excerpted from the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5.


Source: "State of Arizona Flag Story." Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State. Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, 30 May 2012. Web. 13 Mar 2013. Source: Arizona State Legislature, Arizona Revised Statutes, (http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp), June 30, 2007.
Source: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records:Museum Division, The Arizona State Flag, (http://www.lib.az.us/museum/symb-flag.cfm), June 30, 2007.
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001).
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971).
Source: Flags of the Fifty States and Their Incredible Histories: The Complete Guide to America's Most Powerful Symbols by Randy Howe. The Lyons Press; First edition edition (November 1, 2002).


Additional Information

Arizona State Flag Story: Arizona State Library: Archives and Public Records.

Arizona (U.S.): FOTW "Flags of the World" Web Site.

State Flags: Complete list of state flags with links to large pictures and images suitable for coloring.

Flag Terminology: The parts of a flag and terms associated with its design.

Visit Our Flag Shop: Purchase all kinds of flags and banners, lapel pins, 50 state flag sets, decals, patches, college banners at the Flag Shop.

Purchase Arizona State Flags: You may purchase quality state flags from the United States Flag Store.

Flags of the Fifty States and their Incredible Histories: A complete guide to America's most powerful symbols by Randy Howe.

How Proudly They Wave: Flags of the Fifty States: This book, by Rita D. Haban, is geared toward younger readers.

 
 
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