The First State of the Union

flag of DelawareOn this day, July 24, 1913, Delaware officially adopted its current flag.  But it is a date more than 125 years earlier for which Delaware is more often remembered and honored. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the fledgling United States Constitution, thereby officially becoming the first state of theUnited States.  As such,Delaware is accorded the “first” position in many national events such as presidential inaugurations. 

 From an artistic viewpoint, the Delaware flag may seem old-fashioned, especially when compared to stylized flags like Arizona or New Mexico. However, the detailed symbols in the buff-colored diamond proudly present an historical overview of the state. The buff diamond itself is said to signify the state’s early nickname, “the Diamond State” in reference toDelaware’s small size and great value, both geographically on the Atlantic and as an early leader among the states.

 In the center of the diamond is the state seal and coat of arms, depicting the role of farming and agriculture (the farmer, sheaf of wheat, ear of corn, ox), the importance of the “citizen/soldier” and the ship building industry and Delaware’s Atlantic coastal commerce importance (honored by the sailing ship and the representation of theDelaware River).  Not least among the symbols is the banner reading “Liberty and Independence”.  The shades of buff and colonial blue are said to represent the colors of the uniform of General George Washington.

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