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.