Flag of Kentucky

Name The Bluegrass State
Use Civil and state flag
Proportion 10:19
Adopted March 26, 1918 (standardized 1963)
Design Seal of Kentucky on a field of azure
Designed by Jesse Cox Burgess

The flag of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was adopted on March 26, 1918.


In the early history of the state there were many flags representing various affiliations or countries that people came from and settle in the area.[1] A portion of the state was held by the French monarchy until the French and Indian War. After the war, the land was ceded to Great Britain and the Union Jack flew over the commonwealth until the Revolutionary War. After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Kentucky as a Commonwealth of Virginia flew adopted the flag of Virginia. As the war progressed, Louisville and Lexington adopted the "Betsy Ross flag". The rest of the state followed. After the war ended, the Flag of Virginia was restored for a short period of time.

Once Kentucky became part of the Union in 1792, the state adopted the 15-star flag of the Union. The U.S. flag was kept as the unofficial state flag for many years that followed. During the American Civil War, the flag of the Confederate States as well as the flag of the Union flew over Kentucky with prominence varying on location and the progression of the war.

The flag was designed by Jesse Cox Burgess, an art teacher in Frankfort, the state capital. The flag was adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly on March 26, 1918,[2] and finalized the process by including a drawing in the statutes on 1928.


The flag consists of the Commonwealth's seal on a navy blue field, surrounded by the words "Commonwealth of Kentucky" above and sprigs of goldenrod, the state flower, below.[3] The seal depicts a pioneer and a statesman embracing. Popular belief claims that the buckskin-clad man on the left is Daniel Boone, who was largely responsible for the exploration of Kentucky, and the man in the suit on the right is Henry Clay, Kentucky's most famous statesman. However, the official explanation is that the men represent all frontiersmen and statesmen, rather than any specific persons.[4] The state motto: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" circles them. The motto comes from the lyrics of "The Liberty Song", a patriotic song from the American Revolution.

In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 Canadian provincial, U.S. state, and U.S. territorial flags; Kentucky's flag was ranked 66th.[5]


In 2000, the General Assembly adopted the following pledge of allegiance to the flag of Kentucky:

I pledge allegiance to the Kentucky flag, and to the Sovereign State for which it stands, one Commonwealth, blessed with diversity, natural wealth, beauty, and grace from on High."[6]

See also


  1. "Kentucky State Flag History".
  2. Encyclopedia of Kentucky. New York, New York: Somerset Publishers. 1987. ISBN 0-403-09981-1.
  3. Federal Writers' Project (1996). The WPA Guide to Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky. p. 49. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  4. Bryant, Ron (2005-04-21). "The Kentucky State Seal". Kentucky Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-01-16.
  5. "2001 State/Provincial Flag Survey - NAVA.org" (PDF). nava.org.
  6. "2.035 Pledge of allegiance to state flag." (PDF). Legislative Research Commission. 2007-07-14. Retrieved 2007-03-08.

External links

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