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Florida Flags - Florida State Flags, Historic Florida Flags & More

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The Florida State Flag

Florida was one of the first European colonies in North America, so Florida flag history stretches back for far longer than that of most other states. The design of the Florida state flag has changed more often than many other US state flags, so the flag of Florida is one of the youngest in the Union despite the fact that it was one of the first states to have a flag of its own.

Florida State Flag Colors and Symbolism

The Florida flag has a red saltire cross on a white field. The state's seal is center on the cross. The red saltire and white field come from the flag of Spain, which founded the first colonies in Florida. The Spanish flag was the first to represent Florida, so the inclusion of the cross on the modern state flag is a symbol of the state's heritage.

The state seal depicts a Seminole woman standing on the shore and scattering hibiscus flowers on the ground. She is near a pair of sabal palm trees and a ship. The seal combines several symbols of Florida and its culture. Sabal palms are the official state tree of Florida, while the ship is a symbol of Florida's importance in naval trade between North America and the Caribbean islands. The Seminole tribe was one of the most influential Native American groups in Florida, and the inclusion of a Seminole woman on the seal represents the tribe's importance in the state's history. 

History of the Florida State Flag

Florida flag history begins with the Spanish Empire. In 1513 on Easter Day, Florida was discovered by the Spaniards, and took its name at that time, which in Spanish is pascua florida. Florida represented itself with the Spanish flag until it joined the United States in 1845. It did not have a state flag of its own until 1861, when it seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. At that time a new state seal was created.

After the Civil War when Florida re-admitted to the Union in 1868, the state's initial state flag fell out of use and was replaced with a new flag. This new Florida flag was a white flag that displayed the state seal in the center. This flag included the image of a steamboat sailing past a setting sun and the Florida swamps with an Indian woman in the foreground.

Florida used that updated state flag until 1900 when it adopted and ratified a clear precursor to the modern design. The 1900 version of the Florida state flag included the red cross of St. Andrew (the saltire), which was likely taken from the Battle Flag of the Confederacy. There is no documented evidence to support this, however it does seem like more than a coincidence. This version of the Florida state flag used the same field and cross as the current flag but used a different form of the seal.

Florida altered the seal and adopted the design of the modern Florida State flag in 1985.

A short history of Florida (The Sunshine State)

The first permanent settlement on September 8,1565 was at St. Augustine, Florida. Belonging to Spain, except during 1763-83, then in 1821, it was ceded to the USA. Florida was a territory until it was admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845. It seceded in 1861, and re-admitted in 1868.

Area of Florida: 58,664 sq. miles
Capital: Tallahassee
Major Products: Citrus fruits, melons, vegetables, soybeans, sugar-cane, tobacco, fish, sea-food, metalware, timber, processed food, tourism (35 million tourists annually)
State Motto: In God we trust

Products to Accompany Your Florida State Flag

Need a way to display your new FL flag? At Gettysburg Flag, we also carry flag hardware and in-ground flagpoles as well as wall and post mount flagpoles to make installing your Florida flag easy!

Looking for a flag to fly along with your Florida state flag? Browse our American Flags and Historical Flags for some options that might nicely complement your new Florida flag. Our Florida State Flag & Battle Tough American Flag combo pack is also a great option.

Have questions or can't find the Florida flag you are looking for? Give us a call at 1-888-697-3524 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you!