Oregon's Flag History
The Oregon State Flag is the only State flag with a different design on each side.
Adopted in 1925, the flag is colored navy blue with gold lettering and symbols. Certain occasions demand a more formal version of the flag and so a "dress" or "parade" version of the flag is fringed in gold.
The flag face displays the words "STATE OF OREGON" above a gold shield surrounded by thirty-three stars. The stars represent Oregon as the thirty-third state to be admitted to the union. Below the shield, part of the state seal, is the date "1859" in gold numerals. This is the year that Oregon was admitted to the union.
Depicted on the shield, is a blazing sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, mountains, forests and a Conestoga wagon all representing the natural resources and splendor of Oregon and the early settlers to the territory. A plow, a sheaf of wheat and a pickax represent the early industry of the state; agriculture and mining. Two ships are shown; a British Man-of-War and an American trade vessel. The departing British ship and arriving American ship are said to represent that claim to the land was laid by both Great Britain and The United States at the same time. It is also said that the tack of the two ships represents the ascendance of American power in the western hemisphere. Another interpretation has the departure and arrival as representative of trade or commerce. This explanation would seem to ignore that the British vessel is a Man-of-War.
The crest of the shield is the American eagle. Also displayed is a banner with the words "The Union". The eagle and the banner express support for "The Union" that Oregon joined in 1859.