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Unique among the state flags of the union, the Ohio State Flag was designed by John Eisemann. Described as a pennant, the Ohio burgee is properly a swallowtail design. It was adopted in 1902.
Ohio state flag
The Ohio flag, unique in shape but uncomplicated in design, is filled with symbolism. The union of the flag, a large blue triangle is populated with seventeen white stars. Those that are grouped around the circle represent the thirteen original colonies. The four stars found at the apex of the triangle combine with the stars of the thirteen original colonies to total seventeen. Ohio was the seventeenth state to enter the union.
Three red and two white horizontal stripes and the blue field copy the red, white and blue of the Stars and Stripes. The blue field represents Ohio’s hills and valleys. The stripes represent the roads and waterways of the state.
The white circle with a its red center forms the “O” in Ohio and can also be related to the state’s nickname, the “Buckeye State.”
Ohio Flag Law
The following information was excerpted from the Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions, Chapter 5.
CHAPTER 5: STATE INSIGNIA; SEALS; HOLIDAYS
5.01 Ohio state flag.
The flag of the state shall be burgee-shaped. It shall have three red and two white horizontal stripes that represent the roads and waterways of the state. The union of the flag shall be seventeen five-pointed stars, white in a blue triangular field that represents the state’s hills and valleys, the base of which shall be the staff end or vertical edge of the flag, and the apex of which shall be the center of the middle red stripe. The stars shall be grouped around a red disc superimposed upon a white circular “O.” The thirteen stars grouped around the “O” represent the original states of the United States and the four stars added to the peak of the triangle symbolize that Ohio was the seventeenth state admitted to the union. The “O” represents the “O” in “Ohio” and suggests the state’s nickname, the buckeye state. The proportional dimensions of the flag and of its various parts shall be according to the official design on file in the office of the secretary of state. One state flag of uniform dimensions shall be furnished to each company of the organized militia.
Effective Date: 11-01-2002
5.011 Ohio governor’s flag.
The flag of the governor of this state will be of scarlet wool bunting, six feet eight inches hoist by ten feet six inches fly. In each of the four corners will be a white five-pointed star with one point upward. The centers of these stars will be twelve inches from the long edges and seventeen inches from the short edges of the flag. In the center of the flag will be a reproduction of the great seal of Ohio in proper colors, three feet in diameter, surrounded by thirteen white stars equally spaced with their centers on an imaginary circle four feet three inches in diameter. All stars shall be of such size that their points would lie on the circumference of an imaginary circle ten inches in diameter.
The official colors of the governor of Ohio will be of scarlet silk, four feet four inches on the pike by five feet six inches fly, of the same design as the flag of the governor of Ohio, with the seal and stars proportionately reduced in size and embroidered. The colors will be trimmed on three edges with a knotted fringe of yellow silk two and one half inches wide. Attached below the head of the pike will be a silk cord of scarlet and white eight feet six inches in length with a tassel at each end.
The naval flag of the governor of Ohio will be of scarlet wool bunting, three feet hoist by four feet fly. The design will be the same as the flag of the governor of Ohio with the seal and the stars proportionately reduced in size.
The automobile flag of the governor of Ohio will be of scarlet silk, or wool bunting, one foot six inches on the staff by two feet six inches on the fly. The design will be the same as the flag of the governor of Ohio with the seal and stars proportionately reduced in size. The flag will be trimmed on three edges with a knotted fringe of silk or wool one and one half inches wide.
Effective Date: 09-30-1963
5.012 Display and maintenance of state flag.
(A) Display of the state flag at all state buildings and public institutions, such as public school buildings and state parks, is encouraged. If the state flag is displayed, it may be flown every day when weather permits and shall be flown from sunrise until sunset on all national and state holidays and on any other days that the governor proclaims. The state flag may be flown at night when properly lighted. When the state flag is displayed outdoors, it shall be flown either from a flagpole or a staff. Any staff from which the state flag is flown shall be at least two and one-half times as long as the state flag.
(B) When the state flag and the United States flag are displayed at the same time, the state flag shall not be larger than the United States flag. When the state flag and the United States flag are displayed together against a wall from crossed staffs, the state flag shall be on the left of the United States flag, and the staff supporting the state flag shall be behind the staff supporting the United States flag. When the state flag is flown from the same halyard as the United States flag, the state flag shall be displayed beneath the United States flag. When the state flag is carried in a procession in which the United States flag is unfurled, the state flag shall be displayed on the marching left of the United States flag.
(C) The state flag shall be washed or dry cleaned when soiled and may be repaired. When the state flag is damaged beyond repair, it shall be destroyed privately either by cutting it into small pieces and burning it until only ashes remain or by sealing it in a plastic bag or box before discarding it in a trash collection.
Effective Date: 11-01-2002
5.013 Pledge to the state flag.
“I salute the flag of the state of Ohio and pledge to the buckeye state respect and loyalty” is hereby adopted as the official pledge to the state flag. The pledge shall not replace, preempt, or be recited before the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag.
Effective Date: 11-01-2002
5.014 Procedure for folding state flag.
The general assembly hereby establishes a recommended procedure for the folding of the state flag by two people. The procedure is as follows:
With the flag unfolded, fold the flag in half lengthwise so that the points of the flag are aligned. Fold the flag in half lengthwise a second time to form a long strip with the red disc facing the ground. Next, fold the pointed end back onto itself to form a rectangle. These steps entail three folds.
Starting on the end formed by the fold of the pointed end back onto itself, fold two inches of the flag onto itself for a flag with a three-foot hoist and a five-foot fly, or another appropriate width of fold for a flag of a different size. Repeat the folds a total of fourteen times, alternating the folds in a fan-like manner.
The result is a total of seventeen folds symbolizing that Ohio was the seventeenth state admitted to the union. Finally, neatly and snugly wrap the remaining length of flag around the fan-folds to form a compact rectangle.
Effective Date: 05-18-2005