Though adopted in 1879, the Rhode Island State Flag was only
the third of the original thirteen colonies to officially sanction a state banner.
Almost 90 years after Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to
form a union, the General Assembly of the state of Rhode Island adopted an official
design for a Rhode Island State Flag. The colors and design of the Rhode Island state
flag date back to colonial times and the original establishment of Rhode Island and the
Providence Plantations under King Charles II of England.
The most prominent feature of the Rhode Island state flag, the anchor, dates back to
1647 and the Cromwellian Patent of 1643 when the Providence Plantations were
established. Later, when a more liberal charter was bestowed upon the colony, the anchor
was again chosen for the seal and the word "HOPE" added. Today’s Rhode Island
state flag is much like the state flag that was adopted in 1897. Centered on the white
field is an anchor surrounded by thirteen stars. Below the Anchor on the Rhode Island
state flag is a blue ribbon that displays the word "HOPE", the Rhode Island State motto.