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Ohio is unusual in having the only state flag that is not rectangular. Based on the Cavalry Guidon carried during the Civil War, the pennant shaped flag displays a modified version of the stars and stripes. The shape is a tapered burgee.

The seventeen stars refer to Ohio's position as the seventeenth state to join the United States. Ohio entered the Union March 1, 1803.

The red circle represents the Buckeye, the Ohio state tree, surrounding the Buckeye is a white O, this is for OHIO. The blue triangle represents the hills and the valleys. The red and white stripes signify the Ohio's rivers and highways. The top, middle and bottom stripes are red, the other two are white. 

The flag flew for the first time over the Ohio Building at the 1901Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

The flag was designed by John Eisenmann in 1901. The Ohio legislature adopted the flag May 9, 1902. 

5.01 Official flag of state

The flag of the state shall be pennant shaped. It shall have three red and two white horizontal stripes. The union of the flag shall be seventeen five-pointed stars, white in a blue triangular field, 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 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.

Historical and Statutory Notes
Pre-1953 H 1 Amendments: 124 v H 379; 106 v 341 95 v 445

Cross References
Desecration of flag prohibited, 2927.11
Display of the national flag, 3313.80
Ohio historical society to have custody of design, letters of patent
and assignment of patent of state flag, 111.08
Powers and duties of Ohio historical society, 149.30
Trademarks not to contain state flag, 1329.55

Library References
States key 23.
WESTLAW Topic No.360.
C.J.S. States 39.
OJur 3d: 84, State of Ohio 8
Am Jur 2d:35, Flag 1,2

old design

The State Seal

The current design of the Great Seal of the State of Ohio was officially adopted in 1967 and modified in 1996. In the foreground, a sheaf of wheat represents Ohio's agricultural strength. A bundle of 17 arrows symbolizes Ohio's status as the 17th state admitted to the union. Thirteen rays around the sun represent the thirteen original colonies shining over the first state in the Northwest Territory. The background contains a portrayal of Mount Logan, with a three-quarter full sun rising behind it--symbolizing that Ohio was the first state west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Scioto River flows between the mountain and the cultivated fields in the foreground. Here is the section of the Ohio Revised Code describing the state seal:

5.04 Coat of arms of state.

The coat of arms of the state shall consist of the following device: a circular shield; in the right foreground of the shield a full sheaf of wheat bound and standing erect; in the left foreground, a cluster of seventeen arrows bound in the center and resembling in form the sheaf of wheat; in the background, a representation of Mount Logan, Ross county, as viewed from Adena state memorial; over the mount, a rising sun three-quarters exposed and radiating thirteen rays to represent the thirteen original colonies shining over the first state in the northwest territory, the exterior extremities of which rays form a semicircle; and uniting the background and foreground, a representation of the Scioto river and cultivated fields.

The coat of arms of the state shall correspond substantially with the following design:

The Coat of Arms from the Ohio Revised Code

When the coat of arms of the state is reproduced in color, the colors used shall be substantially the same as the natural color of the terrain and objects shown.

HISTORY: RS 15; S&S 729; 65 v 175; GC 30; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53; 132 v H 164 (Eff 12-15-67); 146 v S 213. Eff 11-20-96.

Historical and Statutory Notes
Pre-1953 H 1 Amendments: RS 15
Cross References:
Coat of arms must appear on all official papers,
Notary public seal to contain state coat of arms,
Seal for each state department, specifications,
Seal of state kept by governor, O Const Art III 12
Seal of superintendent of banks, 1125.02
Ohio Administrative Code References
Official seal of the water development authority, OAC
Library References:
States key 23
WESTLAW Topic No. 360
C.J.S. States 39
OJur 3d: 84, State of Ohio 8



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