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Oregon State Flag

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State of Oregon Flag

The Oregon flag shares many design features with other state flags, but the fact that it has a different design on each side ensures that it stands out from the others. Oregon is the only state in the country that uses a two-sided flag, although other states have used them in the past.

Colors and Symbolism of the Oregon Flag

The state of Oregon flag has a solid blue field with a golden emblem on each side. The obverse of the flag displays part of the state's seal and the year that Oregon joined the Union, while the reverse side of the flag displays a beaver in profile. The flag can be displayed with a gold fringe, but that is an optional feature rather than a requirement.

The beaver is the state animal of Oregon, so it serves as a symbol of the state itself and its wildlife. The state seal displays a covered wagon, which represents Oregon's past as a major destination for pioneers who wanted to seek their fortunes in the western reaches of the United States. It is surrounded by a ring of stars that represent Oregon's admission to the United States as its 33rd state.

History of State of Oregon Flag

The Oregon flag was adopted by the state legislature in 1925. The first physical flag was produced by Marjorie Kennedy and Blanche Cox under the sponsorship of the store that employed them, Meier & Frank. The original flag has survived to the modern day, and currently belongs to Eastern Oregon University, which restored the flag in 2010. 

The state of Oregon flag has never been changed, but that may change in the near future. A major newspaper called The Oregonian sponsored a contest the redesign the flag in 2013. The newspaper allowed the general public to vote in order to choose the winner. Randall Gray created the winning design. His flag did not include the state seal, but it did feature both a beaver and a star on a bicolor field of blue and gold. A bill to adopt formally adopt his flag was proposed to the state legislature later that year, but the bill never came to a vote.

A short history of the Oregon State flag
Oregon is the only state to retain a double-sided flag with different images on each side. The middle part of the state seal appears on the obverse (front), consisting of a heart-shaped shield. Surrounded by 33 stars, the number of states in the Union when Oregon was admitted. Inside the shield is an allegorical landscape depicting a wagon train arriving at the Pacific Ocean, with the rising sun in the background. The scroll is printed with the state motto, and below it is a wheatsheaf flanked by agricultural implements. The date and name are above and below the seal. The reverse side of the flag shows a beaver standing on its dam, and is a reminder of the early fur-trapping days. The flag was adopted in 1925 with both designs in yellow on a blue field. The present design used on the flag was adopted in 1903 when Oregon achieved statehood.

A short history of Oregon (The Beaver State)
Oregon was once ruled jointly by the USA and Britain, between 1818-48. It originally included Idaho and Washington in the Territory. It became a Territory in its own right, and was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859.

Area of Oregon: 97,073 sq. miles
Capital: Salem
Major Products: gold and other minerals, cattle, hay, wheat, timber and wood products
Tourism: about 16 million visitors annually
State Motto: The Union