Its iconic form and pattern can be seen flying above everything from government office buildings to sporting events. But where does it come from and what does it say about the great state of Ohio?
The history of Ohio's flag began in 1901, when it was drawn by Cleveland architect and designer John Eisenmann for Ohio's display at the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo, NY. Mr. Eisenmann modeled the flag after Civil War cavalry flags carried during the mid-1860s. After the Exposition, the flag was officially adopted by an act of the Ohio Legislature on May 9, 1902. But the Ohio Flag isn't really a flag at all. It is a burgee. Mr. Eisenmann designed the burgee to be symbolic of our state and all Ohioans. As you gaze upon the flag - you'll notice the underlying meaning: The triangles represent Ohio's hills and valleys. The stripes represent the numerous roads and waterways that wind their way through our vast state. The grouping of 13 stars represent the original colonies. The circle at the center of those stars represents the Northwest Territory, from which Ohio was carved. The additional four stars, added to the first 13, represent Ohio being the 17th state admitted to the Union. The red circle in the center of the white not only represents the initial "O" for Ohio but also of the buckeye, which is also a symbol of the reputation that early Ohioans had for being tough and able to withstand hardship. On any given day, you'll find several Ohio flags flying proudly on Capitol Square.