Ohio has used one of the most unique flags found in America’s 50 states. Few state flags have experienced such a journey in its making.
Admitted to the Union in 1803, Ohio would not have an official state flag until 1902. Its inventor, John Eisenmann, was given the task of creating a flag for Ohio’s exhibit building at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
Trained as an architect, Eisenmann realized that a flag was necessary to recognize Ohio at this exposition. He wanted something unique in its design to fly over the building which he was designing.
The shape was called a swallow tail burgee. Burgees were associated with boating and yachting. It has remained the only state flag in the United States to not be a rectangle.
Colors and shapes symbolized a variety of meanings about the Buckeye State.
The colors of red, white, and blue resembled those of the American flag as well as the U.K. Union Jack. Ohio was an extension of the original thirteen English colonies with roots in the territories of Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Thirteen stars, which were grouped in a circle, represented the original thirteen American states. Four lone stars signified that Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the Union.
A large, white circle with a red center signified an “O” for Ohio. The blue triangle symbolized Ohio’s hills and valleys while the five white and red stripes refer to its roads and waterways. “Five” was a significant number because it referred to the original states from the Northwest Territory: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Buckeye Snapshots take a look at Ohio’s places, events, and people. Previously published posts are linked below. In case you may have missed one, enjoy a visit.