• AZ Flags
    Happy 110th Birthday, Arizona! There’s no other state we’d rather conserve and protect all 800+ species of its wildlife. Arizona Game and Fish.

    The birth of the Arizona State Flag can be traced back to the 1910 National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, before Arizona officially entered the Union. For years, the Arizona Rifle Team had attended the shooting matches which began in 1907. At the 1910 match, members of the Arizona team noticed that all of the other "state" rifle teams carried flags or emblems, but the Arizona team didn't have anything. When the team went home from the 1910 match, several individuals on and off the team brought this to the attention of Arizona National Guard Colonel, Charles Wilfred Harris, who was the team captain. They requested a flag be created to represent the Arizona Rifle Team for the upcoming event in 1911.

    Mary Hicks Hill
    Mary Hicks Hill (left) displays an early version (circa 1911) of what would become Arizona's state flag.

    Colonel Harris went to work on a design with Carl Hayden, Arizona's first representative in Congress who went on to become a United States Senator. Their first priorities for the design were that it contain historical values and that its colors should reflect those values. The first flag, carried by the Arizona Rifle Team to the National Rifle Matches in 1911, was sewn by Carl Hayden's wife, Nan D. Hayden, sometimes called the Betsy Ross of Arizona.

    His design was so popular, that when the new Arizona government was discussing a state flag, the Arizona Rifle Team flag was recommended. Now serving as Adjutant General of Arizona, Colonel Harris made a new design for a state flag that was similar to the flag that he previously designed.

    Entering Arizona from the I-10
    Entering Arizona on the I-10 from New Mexico (westbound).

    The flag was divided into two halves. The top half of the flag consists of thirteen alternating red and gold rays, which represent the thirteen original colonies of the United States and the western setting sun. The red and gold colors of the rays represent the Spanish conquistadors who explored the American Southwest in the 1500's.

    The lower half of the flag is a solid field of blue, the same Liberty Blue found in the United States' Flag. The blue represents the Colorado River, an important Arizona feature and resource. Blue and gold are also Arizona's state colors.

    A large copper colored star is superimposed in the center of the flag. This star identifies Arizona as the largest copper producer in the United States.

    The Arizona State Flag was adopted by the Arizona State Legislature on February 27, 1917. The flag was adopted despite numerous dissenting votes and then Governor Campbell's refusal to sign the bill.

    AZ Sources
    IMAGE: Happy 110th Birthday, Arizona! Arizona Game and Fish. 14 February 2022.

    IMAGE: Two Indivduals Holding Arizona Flag. Unknown. Northern Arizona University Cline Library. 1911.

    IMAGE: The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You. Wing-Chi Poon. Taken on 19 December 2004

    State of Arizona Flag. Arizona Secretary of State.

    Arizona's Flag. The State Library of Arizona. 25 February 2022. 

    IMAGE: AZ Highways: The meaning of the state flagKayla Frost. Arizona Highways. 5 September 2014.

    Learn About the 50 States. Netstate.com.

    Flag Stuff. Gilstrap, Peter. Phoenix New Times. 20 February 1997.