Iowa's Flag History
Iowa was never in a hurry to adopt a state banner as they felt that there was no need; a national banner appropriately represented all of the United States. And so it was not until 1921, almost seventy-five years after the admission of Iowa into the Union, that a state banner was finally adopted by the Legislature.
The impetus for final adoption of an official state banner originated with Iowa National Guardsmen stationed along the Mexican border during World War I. The Guardsmen saw that units from other states carried official banners and the Iowans felt that they needed the same to identify their origins. This prompted the Daughters of the American Revolution into action.
Designed by Mrs. Dixie Cornell Gebhadt, the banner consists of three vertical stripes of blue, white and red. Gehardt explained the meaning of the colors. As well as a reference to the colors of the United States, the color blue stands for loyalty, justice and truth; the white stands for purity; and the red for courage.
An eagle is displayed on the white center stripe of the flag. The eagle carries in its beak blue streamers with the state motto, "Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain", inscribed on it in white letters. The state name "IOWA" is printed in red letters below the eagle.
The banner designed by the Iowa society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and presented to the state is hereby adopted as the state flag for use on all occasions where a state flag may be fittingly displayed. The design consists of three vertical stripes of blue, white and red, the blue stripe being nearest the staff and the white stripe* being in the center. On the central white stripe is depicted a spreading eagle bearing in its beak blue streamers on which is inscribed the state motto, "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain" in white letters, with the word "Iowa" in red letters below the streamers.
Link here to the Iowa State Historical Society for facts, figures, and history of Iowa.
*Note: On the original design, the white stripe was about equal to the sum of the others.