New Hampshire State Flag

The flag of the state of New Hampshire features the state seal.
The flag of the state of New Hampshire features the state seal.

New Hampshire is an American state in New England in the northeastern section of the USA. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Quebec to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean and Maine to the east. Regarding size, it is the fifth smallest and ranks tenth among the fifty states as the least populated. New Hampshire’s capital is Concord while the city of Manchester is the largest. The state’s vast granite resources and quarries have earned it the nickname “The Granite State.” The motto of the state is “Live Free or Die.”

The Flag of New Hampshire

The flag has a blue background with the state seal centered on top. Interestingly, the state has two seals; the more popular Great Seal and a less popular alternate one. The flag us among the top ten worst flags in the US states and Canadian provinces by a 2001 survey.

The Great Seal of New Hampshire

This seal was officially approved in 1776, two days after the statehood resolution. The seal is still present and is occasionally used, but there are no official guidelines guiding its use.

The Great Seal of New Hampshire shows the USS Raleigh, a small and fast military ship, surrounded by a wreath of laurel and nine stars spaced out in the wreath. The wreath surrounding the seal is symbolic of the high regard that the people of New Hampshire had for laurel. Laurel represented victory, honor, and fame. New Hampshire was ninth to join the union hence the nine stars in the wreath. The water that the Raleigh is harbored in represents the harbor of Portsmouth, where the ship was built. A yellow protrusion of land into the water is granite which shows the rugged nature of the terrain and the hardiness of New Hampshire folk.

Changes were made to the seal in 1784 after the New Hampshire constitution came into effect. The revisions showed the ship on stocks, to show that Portsmouth had become a main center for ship making, with a rising sun in the background. Minor changes were also made, mostly shipment items on the anterior deck.

A law passed in 1931 ensured that the frigate was the heart of the seal, that the seal have a diameter of two inches with the engraving “SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE” and a granite rock in the foreground.

Alternate Seal

In 1774, while meeting Exeter, the First Provincial Congress did away with every “Royal” plus the preceding seal of “George the III,” and decided to come up with a new one. The new seal was supposed to be prepared in time for the 1776 New Hampshire Constitution. The seal had a diameter of 1.5 inches with an illustration of an upright fish and a pine tree sandwiching a bunch of five arrows. The five arrows showed the five counties while the pine and fish showed the primary colonial trade. Aside from these images, the writing “COLONY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE * VIS UNITA FORTIOR” (A united force is stronger) was also present. The seal’s last known use was in 1776.


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