The Washington State Flag
Admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889, Washington was a little slow about officially adopting a state flag specification. But, once the territory became a part of the United States, there seems to have been little doubt that a state flag would honor George Washington in some way.
At the beginning of the 20th century, many towns and cities throughout the state informally adopted a military flag that displayed a gold profile of our first President on blue bunting. Other flags in use simply centered the state seal on a field of purple or green similar to the current design.
When an official Washington State Flag was finally adopted on May 5, 1923, over thirty years after Washington became a state, the legislature described the flag as
Originally, the law allowed that the flag to might be edged with either gold or green fringe. This was changed in 1925 to specify a gold or yellow color of "the same shade as the seal."
The specifications for the flag were amended in 2005 to reflect "textile industry standards." Today's specification calls for Cable Color (Textile) Spanish Yellow 80068 or Pantone PMS DS-5-4 for both the state seal gold and the gold fringe, if any.
The Washington State Flag is the only state flag with a green field and it's the only state flag that displays an image of an actual person. It's a fitting representation of the Evergreen State, the only state to be named to honor a United States president.
Washington Flag Law
The following information was excerpted from the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Title 1, Chapter 20.
TITLE 1. General provisions.
RCW 1.20.010 State flag.
The official flag of the state of Washington shall be of dark green silk or bunting and shall bear in its center a reproduction of the seal of the state of Washington embroidered, printed, painted or stamped thereon. The edges of the flag may, or may not, be fringed. If a fringe is used the same shall be of gold or yellow color of the same shade as the seal. The dimensions of the flag may vary.
The secretary of state is authorized to provide the state flag to units of the armed forces, without charge therefor, as in his discretion he deems entitled thereto. The secretary of state is further authorized to sell the state flag to any citizen at a price to be determined by the secretary of state.
[1967 ex.s. c 65 § 2; 1925 ex.s. c 85 § 1; 1923 c 174 § 1; RRS § 10964-1, RRS vol. 11, p. 399.]
Reviser's note: Same RRS number was also used for a section dealing with a different subject on page 110 of RRS vol. 11, pocket part.
RCW 1.20.015 Display of national and state flags.
The flag of the United States and the flag of the state shall be prominently installed, displayed and maintained in schools, court rooms and state buildings.
[1955 c 88 § 1.]
Source: Washington State Legislature, Revised Code of Washington (RCW), (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/), January 30, 2008.
Washington (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 Washington 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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