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Vermont was the fourteenth state to be admitted to the union. It was admitted in 1791. In 1792, Kentucky was admitted to the union. At this time, the United States Flag displayed thirteen stars and thirteen stripes. In 1794, the national Congress changed the official design of the United States Flag to include fifteen stars and fifteen stripes representative of the two new states of the union.
Proud to be a member of the United States, the first Vermont Flag, a state militia flag, was created in October, 1803. Tennessee and Ohio had been admitted to the union at this time and, perhaps anticipating the national Congress, Vermont’s first flag was created with seventeen stripes and seventeen stars in the tradition of the U.S. Flag. The word “VERMONT” was spelled out in upper case letters above the stars and stripes. Fifteen years later in 1817, the national Congress stepped back and authorized the current flag design of thirteen stripes and a star for each state.
Vermont went back to the drawing board and authorized a new design on October 20, 1838. This new design continued to align with that of the U.S. Flag. This new design reduced the number of red and white stripes from seventeen to thirteen. Instead of a star for each state, however, the union contained one large white star on a blue field. Within the confines of the star was displayed the Vermont Coat of Arms. This flag remained as the official state flag until 1919.
Vermont state flag
Eventually Vermonters began to desire a more unique state flag that would not be so easily confused with the flag of the United States when hanging from a pole. As the idea for a change became more prominent, it was found that the flag authorized in 1838, was not ever really used to any extent and that not many were even aware of its existence. The flag carried by Vermont regiments in the Civil War, the Spanish American War and at the outbreak of World War I was a flag that displayed the Vermont State Coat of Arms on a blue field. This design had customarily been carried as the Governor’s flag.
And so, in 1919, the third Vermont State Flag was authorized. This third design displayed the Vermont State Coat of Arms on a blue field. This is the Vermont State Flag as we know it today.
The following information was excerpted from the Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 1, Chapter 11, Sections 495-496
TITLE ONE. GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 11. FLAG, INSIGNIA, SEAL, ETC.
1 V.S.A. § 495 (2012)
§ 495. State flag
The flag of the state shall be blue with the coat of arms of the state thereon.
1 V.S.A. § 496 (2012)
§ 496. State flags, purchase, distribution
(a) The secretary of state shall, through the department of buildings and general services, obtain state flags and a copy of the Bennington Battle Flag, so-called. He or she may, in his or her discretion and on such terms as he or she finds appropriate, distribute said state flags to other states, to state officials, departments and agencies, and to such other persons as he or she may determine should have them in the interest of the state. He or she shall cause the Bennington Battle Flag to be delivered to the custody of the Sergeant at Arms, to be flown at the State House in Montpelier, under the United States Flag, on the 15th, 16th, and 17th days of August in each year to commemorate the Battle of Bennington.
(b) The secretary of state shall furnish to the division for historic preservation, under this section, one Vermont state flag and one Bennington Battle Flag to be flown at the Bennington Battle Monument Area.
HISTORY: 1961, No. 120, § 1, eff. May 16, 1961; amended 1963, No. 77, §§ 1, 2, eff. May 2, 1963; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996.