Florida State Flag

The current flag of Florida was commissioned in 1985.
The current flag of Florida was commissioned in 1985.

The current Florida State flag was adopted on November 6, 1900, through a referendum. On May 21, 1985, the current flag, consisting of a red cross on a white field was commissioned with the seal of the state placed in the middle. Although the flag took many years to design and develop, it is considered as a good representation of the Florida residents. A research conducted in 2001 ranked it at position 34 out of 72 in terms of design and relevance.

Design and Features of the Flag

The flag design was motivated by the cross on which an ancient Christian martyr called St. Andrew was crucified. The flag also has a seal with both the seal and the saltire on a white background, superimposed on the center. Inside the seal is a photo of a lady and standing near a water body with a steamboat rowing on the water body. There are also palm trees and flowers on the seal. On the outer side of the seal is a golden ring with the words “Great seal of the state of Florida. In God we trust.” The red cross running across the flag is considered a remembrance of one of the state governors called Fleming who was in officer during the Confederate army regime. The flag's design was done at the height of legislation that highly advocated for segregation. The reign of Jim Crow, who is famously remembered for segregation laws and the implementation of such policies coincided with the period when the flag was being designed.

History of the Florida State Flag

Spain took control of the Florida territory in 1513 and instantly imposed its own banners as the flag. The “Cross of Burgundy” was used as a symbol of Spanish dominance. A change in governance took place in 1763 when Britain began ruling Florida hence used the flag known as the “Original Union Flag” with diagonal white stripes on it.

Later Spain regained control of the state and a new flag; “the naval and battle flag” was adopted and used up to 1821. The state did not have a national flag from the period between 1821 and 1861. In 1838, a law was passed giving the Governor a mandate to come up with a new relevant flag design. He came up with a flag with three bands of the Confederacy on a blue background and a seal inside the blue area. Later, “the Bonnie blue flag” was briefly used. It was a simple blue flag with a star in the middle. As of 1868, the state began using the seal on a white background as a new flag design until 1890 when the St. Andrews cross was added to the flag following the advice of Governor Francis P. Fleming. In 1900 a completely new design was drawn and has been modified to what we have today as the national flag.

Uses of the Flag

The flag is a state symbol which should be hoisted within the state and in government buildings. It should be raised and lowered ceremoniously during state occasions by uniformed persons. It is used as an identity symbol by residents of that state whenever they are outside their state. It should be hoisted at full mast unless during the mourning period when it is on “half-mast”


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