Each stamp in the Flags of Our Nation series features the state or territory's flag accompanied by a symbolic "snapshot" of the state. These include common scenes and activities in the state as well as rare wildlife and breathtaking landscapes that are normally associated with the state.
The U.S. flag, officially adopted on June 14, 1777, is one of the most enduring symbols of the American people and their principles. The blue-starred field represents the 50 states of America, with each star representing a new constellation. The 13 red stripes commemorate the 13 original Colonies.
Designed after the Secession Convention, Alabama's first official flag was known as the "Republic of Alabama" flag. During the 1861-65 war, Alabama recognized the Confederate States of America flag as its own. With the Union restored, Alabama authorized a "crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white" as its official flag, effective February 16, 1895.
Designed by John Bell (Benny) Benson, a 13-year-old orphaned Aleut Indian, the Alaska flag was formally adopted in May 1927. The flag's blue background represented the sky and the Forget-me-not, Alaska's state flower. Against this background are eight gold stars to represent the Big Dipper, a symbol of strength, and the North Star, to represent Alaska's future as the northernmost U.S. state.
The eagle on the American Samoa Flag represents the territory's relationship with the United States. The eagle, a symbol of power, protection, and friendship with the U.S., is seen clutching two items that are significant to the Samoan culture. In one talon it holds the uatogi, a war club symbolic of power. In the other talon it carries the fue, a ritual stick that symbolizes the wisdom of the councils.
The top half of the Arizona state flag symbolizes the original 13 American colonies and the western-setting sun. The copper star signifies Arizona's status as the largest copper-producing state in the U.S. The red and yellow colors found in the rays of the setting sun represent the colors flown by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and the Spanish Conquistadors.
Arkansas' state flag features a white diamond on a red field, recognizing Arkansas as the only diamond-producing state at the time of the flag's creation. The blue band surrounding this diamond features 25 stars, representing Arkansas' place as the 25th state admitted to the Union. The three stars below the state name represent the three countries formerly owning the territory. The lone top star is representative of Arkansas' membership in the Confederate States of America.
The California state flag centers around a large grizzly bear. Chosen as a symbol of strength, the grizzly bear is native to the state of California. The flag also has a single, red, five-pointed star and the words "California Republic," a testament to the commitment to independence of the early California settlers.
Colorado's state flag utilizes elegant simplicity to evoke a number of significant meanings. The field consists of three stripes - two blue and one white. The blue is meant to symbolize Colorado's clear blue skies as well as the state flower, the columbine. The white stripe across the middle is said to represent the state's famous snow-capped mountains, while the red of the "C" (which stands for Colorado) reflects the color of most of the state's soil. The gold disc in the center of the "C" is meant to signify the state's history in gold mining and ample sunshine.
The Connecticut state flag consists of a blue field behind the State Seal of Connecticut. The shield, created in the rococo design (recognizable for its elaborate curvature) on the seal bears three grapevines, a symbol of good luck, peace, and proof of God's greatness. The vines are representative of the Colony carried over and planted in the unfamiliar world.
Delaware's state flag has a buff-colored diamond on a colonial blue background, representing General George Washington's uniform. The diamond is a reference to an early nickname, The Diamond State, because of Delaware's small size and great value. Inside the diamond is the Delaware coat of arms. A farmer and soldier hold up a shield with a wavy blue line (representing the Delaware River), a cow, wheat, corn, and a boat.