The Oregon State Flag
The Oregon State Flag is the only State flag with a different design on each side.
Adopted in 1925, the flag is colored navy blue with gold lettering and symbols. Certain occasions demand a more formal version of the flag and so a "dress" or "parade" version of the flag is fringed in gold
The flag face displays the words "STATE OF OREGON" above a gold shield surrounded by thirty-three stars. The stars represent Oregon as the thirty-third state to be admitted to the union. Below the shield, part of the state seal, is the date "1859" in gold numerals. This is the year that Oregon was admitted to the union.
Depicted on the shield, is a blazing sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, mountains, forests and a Conestoga wagon all representing the natural resources and splendor of Oregon and the early settlers to the territory. A plow, a sheaf of wheat and a pickax represent the early industry of the state; agriculture and mining. Two ships are shown; a British Man-of-War and an American trade vessel. The departing British ship and arriving American ship are said to represent that claim to the land was laid by both Great Britain and The United States at the same time. It is also said that the tack of the two ships represents the ascendance of American power in the western hemisphere. Another interpretation has the departure and arrival as representative of trade or commerce. This explanation would seem to ignore that the British vessel is a Man-of-War.
The crest of the shield is the American eagle. Also displayed is a banner with the words "The Union." The eagle and the banner express support for "The Union" that Oregon joined in 1859.
Remember that the Oregon State Flag is the only state flag with a different design on each side?
With a nickname like "The Beaver State" one might easily guess what lies on the reverse side of the flag. Indeed, the Oregon State animal makes a strong showing on the Oregon State Flag.
Oregon Flag Law
The following information was excerpted from the Oregon Revised Statutes 2005 Edition, Title 19, Chapter 186.
TITLE 19 MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS RELATED TO GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
186.010 State flag; official colors (1) A state flag is adopted to be used on all occasions when the state is officially and publicly represented, with the privilege of use by all citizens upon such occasions as may be fitting and appropriate. It shall bear on one side on a navy blue field the state escutcheon in gold, supported by 33 gold stars and bearing above the escutcheon the words "State of Oregon" in gold and below the escutcheon the figures "1859" in gold, and on the other side on a navy blue field a representation of the beaver in gold.
(2) The official colors of the State of Oregon are navy blue and gold. [Amended by 1959 c.120 §1]
186.110 State flag to be displayed on public buildings. (1) The person or body having custody of each public building shall procure an Oregon State flag of suitable size and shall cause the Oregon State flag to be displayed with the United States flag upon or near such public building during the hours when the United States flag is customarily displayed, except in unsuitable weather, and at such other times as seems proper.
(2) As used in this section, "public building" means:
(a) State institutions
(b) All other state buildings upon which the Oregon Department of Administrative Services determines it is suitable to display the Oregon State flag.
(c) County courthouses. [1953 c.474 §§1,2]
186.120 Payment of expenses incurred in displaying flag. The necessary funds to defray the expenses incurred for such flags and for poles and appliances necessary in connection therewith and for the care thereof shall be paid out of the funds available for the care and maintenance of the public building. [1953 c.474 §3]
Source: Oregon State Legislature, Oregon Revised Statutes 2005 Edition, (http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/home.htm), October 31, 2007.
Oregon (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 Oregon 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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