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Iowa State Flag

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Iowa State Flag

Iowa was part of a French colony before the territory was sold to the United States, and the Iowa state flag includes traces of the state's colonial heritage. The state flag of Iowa also includes symbols of the United States and the state itself in order to reflect every aspect of the state's culture and heritage.

Colors and Symbolism of the State Flag of Iowa

The Iowa flag is a vertical tricolor of blue, white, and red. The white stripe is twice as wide as the blue and red stripes. The white stripe contains the state's name below a flying bald eagle that is clutching a banner in its beak. The banner features the phrase "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."

The design of the Iowa state flag combines several aspects of the state's heritage. The blue, white, and red field strongly resembles the national flag of France that represented Iowa while it was a French colony. The colors also have symbolic value in their own right. The blue stripe represents loyalty and justice, the red stripe represents courage, and the white stripe stands for purity and the state's humble beginnings. The bald eagle represents its loyalty to the United States of America, while the banner embodies the values of the Iowan citizens.

History of the Iowa State Flag

The Iowa flag is significantly younger than the state of Iowa. The Iowa territory became a state in 1846, but the state government believed that the national flag could represent every state in addition to the entire nation, and thus did not see the need for a state flag until the United States joined the first world war in 1917. The state government assumed that many Iowan soldiers would fight in distinct regiments, and those regiments needed a flag to mark them out from the rest of the American army. A design was approved for use shortly after America joined the war, and flags Iowa National Guard units received their flags soon after. They were of limited use because soldiers from many different states were assigned to the regiments during the war, but the design still found its place in Iowan culture. The design was the natural choice for a state flag after the war ended, and so it became the official state flag of Iowa in 1921.

A short history of the Iowa State flag
Iowa's flag seal dates from 1847, one year after the state was admitted to the Union. The seal depicts a flying eagle holding a scroll in its beak, together with a soldier holding a flag with the Cap of Liberty. It was this eagle that was taken from the seal and used on the flag.

American soldiers in France were sent copies of their state flags by their families in 1917, except those soldiers from states such as Iowa, which had no flag. The Daughters of the American Revolution sought a flag for Iowa. The eagle and scroll was put onto a white field, together with the name of the state. Many people felt that state flags were unnecessary when the Stars and Stripes could serve as an expression of national unity. It wasn't until March 1921 for the present flag to be adopted by the state legislature. A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution suggested that Iowa's part in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, should be indicated by the addition of the French red, white and blue, and this idea was officially adopted.

A short history of Iowa (The Hawkeye State)
Iowa lies across the Mississippi from Illinois, and until 1803 was part of The French Louisiana. It was first settled in 1788, and became a Territory in 1838. This was from the Louisiana Purchase. Iowa was admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846.

Area of Iowa: 56,275 sq. miles
Capital: Des Moines
Major Products: corn, soybeans, livestock, (especially pig meat), coal, manufactured goods
State Motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain