Ohio Ohio State Flag

The Ohio flag was formally adopted on May 9, 1902. Since, Ohio has maintained the same flag for the last 122 years.

The Ohio flag was voted 13th best out of 51 Flags ranked by the North American Vexillological Association.

The 4 main colors in the Ohio flag are #C1133D, #000000, #FFFFFF, and #001C5A. The Ohio flag width is 1.6 times the height. Standard flag size is 3 feet x 4.8 feet.

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Ohio Flag

The Ohio State Flag. Adopted by State Legislature on May 9, 1902.


#C1133D 27.1%
#000000 25.6%
#FFFFFF 24.2%
#001C5A 22%
Percentage totals may not equal 100. Colors with less than 1 percent are ignored.


The Ohio state flag has its own nickname, “Ohio Burgee.” It's also entirely unique in its shape, which is that of a swallowtail. No other state flag has this shape, as all of the rest are rectangular. A burgee is a small flag that is mainly found on yachts. A burgee isn't always shaped like a swallowtail, though that is one of the more common designs. It could also be shaped like a triangle. Arranged on the flag are three red and two white stripes, all horizontal. From the left side of the flag to the center is a blue triangle that has seventeen white stars inside of it. Each star has five points. Centered inside the triangle is a red circle outlined in white.


The colors of the flag are red, white and blue. The triangle is meant to represent Ohio's hills, whereas the stripes are supposed to symbolize its roads and rivers. As Ohio was the seventeenth state to enter the Union, there are naturally seventeen stars to show this. The white outlined red circle is meant to be a symbol for the name of the state itself but also could symbolize Ohio's nickname of “The Buckeye State.”


It took more than one hundred years for the state to gain a true flag. The military carried a flag that was similar to the one that ultimately became official. That is, they used the same colors and had seventeen stars on the flag. But in addition to that, this earlier flag had a large eagle.

Sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century, those residing in Ohio began to demand an official state flag. Two men in late 1860 decided they had the best design. These men were General David Wood and Adjunct General Henry Carrington. They designed a flag that had the Ohio seal on a bland white canvas. They even went so far as to fly this flag over the state arsenal, hoping that it would someday become official. However, in 1861, future president James Garfield said in a speech that the only flag needed in Ohio was the U.S.A. national flag. He suggested that Ohio military continue to march just with this one. Everyone attending this gathering was moved and decided to only use the Stars and Stripes from then on.

In 1901, a Cleveland man designed a flag which he would use to fly over the Ohio building. Because his flag was so unique and at the same time captured quintessential Ohio, a state representative decided this could be the official state flag. State Representative William McKinnon introduced a bill into the house to make this design official, and on May 9, 1902, this bill became law. Though Ohio was the twentieth state flag to come up with an official design, it was the first to have a swallowtail flag!

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Download Ohio State Flag

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