Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Ohio is the only state without a flag. Ohio's "flag" is, technically, not a flag but a burgee. A burgee is a sort of twin-tailed pennant. Ohio is the only state that uses one.

It was designed by John Eisemann, a state official. The large blue triangle represents Ohio's hills and alleys, while the white and red stripes are said to represent roads and waterways. The stars, 13 of them, in the blue field represent the original 13 colonies of the United States. Four stars at the peak of the blue field are for the states added after the initial 13 and point to Ohio as the 17th state admitted to the Union. It is claimed that the large red circle surrounded by a white "O" stands for "Ohio."

Historian Richard McElroy points out that the burgee was first flown at the Ohio building at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901 and closely resembles a banner carried by explorer Christopher Columbus on his expedition to the New World in 1492. Since our state capital was named for Columbus, it's possible that the explorer also influenced the design of the Ohio flag, which was adopted by the legislature in 1902.

From: Ohio Oddities by Neil Zurcher

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