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Arkansas (U.S.)

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[Flag of the State of Arkansas] image by Clay Moss, 6 August 2007

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In 1836, a star was added, representing Arkansas, bringing the total number of stars on the U.S. flag to 25. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.


The Arkansas state flag, designed by Miss Willie K. Hocker of Wabbaseka, Arkansas, was adopted in 1913.
Dov Gutterman, 13 October 1998


Section 1-4-101. State flag.
(a) The official state flag shall be a rectangle of red on which is placed a large white diamond, bordered by a wide band of blue on which are twenty-five (25) white stars. Across the diamond shall be the word "ARKANSAS" and four (4) blue stars, with one (1) star above and three (3) stars below the word "ARKANSAS". The star above the word "ARKANSAS" shall be below the upper corner of the diamond. The three (3) stars below the word "ARKANSAS" shall be placed so that one (1) star shall be above the lower corner of the diamond and two (2) stars shall be placed symmetrically, parallel above and to the right and left of the star in the lower corner of the diamond.

(b) The three (3) stars so placed are designed to represent the three (3) nations, France, Spain, and the United States, which have successively exercised dominion over Arkansas. These stars also indicate that Arkansas was the third state carved out of the Louisiana Purchase. Of these three (3) stars, the twin stars parallel with each other signify that Arkansas and Michigan are twin states, having been admitted to the Union together on June 15, 1836. The twenty-five (25) white stars on the band of blue show that Arkansas was the twenty-fifth state admitted to the Union. The blue star above the word "ARKANSAS" is to commemorate the Confederate States of America. The diamond signifies that this state is the only diamond-bearing state in the Union.
Joe McMillan, 8 February 2000

History and Meaning of the Flag

The battleship U.S.S. Arkansas was to be commissioned and the Pine Bluff chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution voted to present a state flag to the ship. But first, the flag committee of the chapter had to learn about the state flag. A letter to the Secretary of State Earl W. Hodges was sent by a committee of three, Mrs. C.W. Pettigrew (whose idea it was in the first place), Mrs. W.A. Taggart and Mrs. Frank Tomlinson. Before long they had the answer: there was no state flag.

The Pine Bluff group decided to correct the situation by holding a statewide flag contest. Mr. Hodges was asked to act as custodian for entries. Sixty-five separate designs were entered in the contest. Some were crayon drawings and some were flag miniatures on silk.

As the state flower, the apple blossom appeared on a number of designs. One centered with the flower was scattered with stars representing the United States. There were thirteen rays on it for the original states and the colors were red, white and blue. One flag used just the apple blossom, four of them in colorful blocks. Another design used the outline of Arkansas and the state seal with red, white and blue.

Mr. Hodges was chairman of the committee to select the flag and he chose a distinguished list of members: Dr. Junius Jordan, the chairman of philosophy and pedagogy at the University of Arkansas; Mrs. Julia McAlmont Noel, a member of the John McAlmont Chapter of the D.A.R. in Pine Bluff; Miss Julia Warner, a teacher in the Little Rock school system, and Mrs. P. H. Ellsworth, a former president of the Arkansas Federation of Women's Clubs.

In the early days of 1913 the committee gathered in Mr. Hodges' office and worked on choosing a flag. As a winner they chose the red, white and blue design of Miss Willie Hocker of Wabbaseka, a member of the Pine Bluff chapter of the D.A.R., where the search originated.

[Flag of Arkansas - First Draft 1913] image by Clay Moss, 6 August 2007

On a rectangular field of red, Miss Hocker had placed a large white diamond bordered by twenty-five white stars on a blue band. Three blue stars in a straight line were centered in the diamond.

Miss Hocker explained that the colors in her design meant that Arkansas was one of the United States of America. The three blue stars had four meanings: Arkansas belonged to three countries (France, Spain, and the United States) before attaining statehood; 1803 was the year of the Louisiana Purchase when the land that is now Arkansas was acquired by the United States; Arkansas was the third state created from the purchase by the United States; and the two stars below and parallel to the name Arkansas signify that Arkansas and Michigan are twin states. Both states were admitted to the Union about the same time - Arkansas on June 15, 1836, and Michigan on January 26, 1837.

[Flag of Arkansas - Final Draft 1913] image by Clay Moss, 7 August 2007

The twenty-five stars meant that Arkansas was the twenty-fifth state to be admitted to the Union. The diamond represents Arkansas as the nation's only diamond-producing state. The committee decided the flag needed to include the state's name. Miss Hocker agreed and suggested the three blue stars be arranged with one above the name and two below.

On February 26, 1913, the legislature made Miss Hocker's design the state's official flag. The U.S.S. Arkansas received her flag from the Pine Bluff Chapter of the D.A.R.

[Flag of Arkansas - 1923] image by Clay Moss, 7 August 2007

Then there was trouble...there was no indication on the flag that Arkansas had been a member of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. To correct that, the legislature in 1923 added a fourth blue star above the letter "R" in Arkansas and moved the single blue star to a position above the last "A". But, a furor arose and many claimed that the original symmetry and meaning of the design were destroyed.

So in 1924 the legislature placed three blue stars below the word "Arkansas" and one above, the way the flag is today.

The three stars below "Arkansas" retained the meaning Miss Hocker had set and the lone star above the word is to commemorate Arkansas' membership in the Confederacy.

And so it remains today...a proud banner that flies for all Arkansans.

submitted by Chris Young, 2 August 1999

State Pledge

"I Salute the Arkansas Flag With Its Diamond and Stars. We Pledge Our Loyalty to Thee."
Phil Nelson, 13 August 1999

State Military Crest

image by Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

The state military crest, which is the crest used in the coats of arms of units of the National Guard, as granted by the precursor organizations of what is now the Army Institute of Heraldry. The official Institute of Heraldry blazon is "Above two sprays of apple blossoms proper, a diamond argent charged with four mullets azure, one in upper point and three in lower, within a bordure of the last bearing 25 mullets of the second."
Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

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