​Rhode Island's Flag History

Though adopted in 1879, the Rhode Island State Flag was only the third of the original thirteen colonies to officially sanction a state banner. New York and New Jersey had adopted official banners two years earlier in 1876.

Almost 90 years after Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to form a union, the General Assembly of the state adopted an official design for a state flag. The colors and design of the flag date back to colonial times and the original establishment of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations under King Charles II of England. The most prominent feature of the flag, the anchor, dates back to 1647 and the Cromwellian Patent of 1643 when the Providence Plantations were established. Later, when a more liberal charter was bestowed upon the colony, the anchor was again chosen for the seal and the word "HOPE" was added.

The colors, white and blue, were flown during the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. The thirteen stars representing the original thirteen colonies were also displayed on flags flown by the Continental Regiments during the Revolution.

Today's flag is much the same flag that was adopted in 1897. Centered on the white field is an anchor surrounded by thirteen stars. Below the Anchor is a blue ribbon that displays the word "HOPE", the state motto.

Link here to the Rhode Island Historical Society for facts, figures and history of Rhode Island.