In case you haven’t heard from Twitter (my first notification this morning was via Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory), today is Happy Flag Day. Let’s educate ourselves.
Arkansas has an interesting history. Unfortunately, due to the mass of coaches who pretend to be teachers(not all of them, just the ones I have encountered) who end up teaching Arkansas History no one in the state seems to know it. Also, no one seems to care. Where’s the pride, ya’ll?
On the 17th of September, 1912 the USS Arkansas was commissioned in honor of the twenty-fifth state. AWyoming-class battleship, it was a new and proud addition to the United States Navy. The USS Arkansas has its own interesting history. Look it up. The Pine Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution wanted to present a state flag to the Arkansas. When low and behold, it was discovered that the state didn’t have an official state flag. That DAR chapter then sponsored a contest to create a state flag. A Miss Hocker, from that same DAR chapter, created a flag that resembled our current flag.
That flag was red, with a large diamond of white bordered by white stars, twenty five of them. Three blue stars in a line were centered in the middle of the diamond. Coming from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s educational page—
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 three 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; and Arkansas was the third state created from the purchase by the United States, after Louisiana and Missouri.
The twenty-five stars mean that Arkansas was the twenty-fifth state to be admitted to the Union. The diamond represents Arkansas as the nation’s first diamond-producing state.The two parallel white stars at the left and right points of the diamond symbolize the dual admission of Arkansas and Michigan to the Union. Both were admitted to the Union about the same time-Arkansas on June 15, 1836, and Michigan on January 26, 1837.
On the 26th of February, 1913 it was commissioned as the first state flag and the USS Arkansas received one, after political wrangling it looked like this.
Then, because Miss Hocker forget to include to choose a star that indicated our membership in the Confederacy she had to add that. It then messed up the symmetry of the stars and they were relocated to where they are today
Thus, our current state flag…almost. After more political wrangling…always, it now looks like this.
The three stars below Arkansas have three different meanings:
- three nations to which Arkansas had belonged (France, Spain, U.S.)
- The Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803…(notice the three)
- Arkansas was the third state formed after and out of the Louisiana Purchase
The star above Arkansas means we were in the Confederacy…and proud of it. Decide what that means for yourself.
But, in honor of Happy Flag Day, here was a quick Arkansas flag lesson.
Happy Flag Day.