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The Arizona State Flag
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. Shooting matches began at Camp Perry in 1907 and rapidly developed into a prestigious annual event that continues to this day.
Members of the visiting Arizona Rifle Team noticed that all of the other “state” rifle teams carried flags or emblems. The Arizona team had no such flag or emblem and brought this to the attention of Arizona National Guard Colonel Charles Wilfred Harris, who was serving as the team captain. The team suggested that a flag be created to represent the Arizona Rifle Team at future National Rifle Matches.
The idea for the design of the flag was conceived of by Colonel Harris and by 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.
Arizona state flag
[ LARGE PRINT [ LARGER PRINT ] [ COLOR ME ] Designed by Colonel Charles W. Harris, 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.
In 1912, now serving as Adjutant General of Arizona, Colonel Harris designed a state flag that was similar to the flag that he designed for the Arizona Rifle Team.
Measuring four feet high and six feet wide, the flag is divided into a top and bottom half with a large five-point copper star in the center.
The top half of the flag represents the 13 original colonies of the United States and the western setting sun. The copper star in the center of the flag identifies Arizona as the largest copper producing state in the union.
The lower half of the flag is a field of blue, the same Liberty Blue found in the United States’ Flag. The red found in the rays of the setting sun is also the same shade of red found in the United States’ Flag. The Blue of the lower half of the flag and the yellow of the western setting sun are the Arizona State Colors. The red and yellow colors found in the rays are the colors flown by the Spanish Conquistadors led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in his unsuccessful search for the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540.
The Arizona State Flag was adopted by the Arizona State Legislature on February 27, 1917. The blue, red, yellow and copper flag was adopted despite numerous dissenting votes and then Governor Campbell’s refusal to sign the bill.
Arizona Flag Law
The following information was excerpted from the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5.
Title 41 – State Government.
CHAPTER 4.1 – HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND STATE EMBLEMS.
Article 5 – State Emblems.
Sections 41-851 & 41-852.
41-851. State colors; state flag
A. Blue and old gold shall be the colors of the state. The blue shall be the same shade as that of the flag of the United States.
B. The flag of the state shall be of the following design:
The lower half of the flag a blue field and the upper half divided into thirteen equal segments or rays which shall start at the center on the lower line and continue to the edges of the flag, colored alternately light yellow and red, consisting of six yellow and seven red rays. In the center of the flag, superimposed, there shall be a copper-colored five pointed star, so placed that the upper points shall be one foot from the top of the flag and the lower points one foot from the bottom of the flag. The red and blue shall be the same shade as the colors in the flag of the United States. The flag shall have a four-foot hoist and a six-foot fly, with a two-foot star and the same proportions shall be observed for flags of other sizes.
C. The flag represents the copper star of Arizona rising from a blue field in the face of a setting sun.
41-852. Display of state flag; death of incumbent elective state officer; display of United States flag and Constitution and the Bill of Rights
A. The state flag shall be displayed alongside the flag of the United States on or in front of the state capitol building, and institutional and educational buildings of the state as the governor directs, on or in front of the courthouse of each county, and other institutional buildings of each county as the board of supervisors directs, and on or in front of the city or town hall of each incorporated city or town, and other municipally owned buildings as the governing body of the municipality directs.
B. On the death of an incumbent elective state officer, each state flag displayed pursuant to subsection A shall be flown at half-staff for a period of seven days beginning on the day following the death of the officer.
C. The flag of the United States shall be displayed in each hearing room in the state house of representatives and state senate in accordance with title 4 of the United States Code and a legible copy of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights shall be displayed adjacent to the flag.