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General background about the Virginia Flag

Virginia Flag     Virginia Great Seal


  Newport News
  Virginia Beach

Virginia's state flag consists of the obverse of the seal centered against a blue background. The flag may be decorated with a white fringe along the fly; this is usually done when the flag is displayed indoors.

  • MOTTO: "Sic Semper Tyrannis" (Translated to English: "Thus Always to Tyrants")
  • ENTERED UNION: June 25, 1788
  • FLAG ADOPTED: April 30, 1861 (Officially standardized in February 1950)
  • COMMENTS: In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. state, U.S. territorial and Canadian provincial flags. NAVA's members ranked Virginia's flag 54th out of the 72.


There are two figures on the flag. One is a woman, the Roman goddess "Virtus", or Virtue. She is dressed as an Amazon warrior, in a light blue robe, and is meant to represent Virginia. Sword in one hand, spear in the other, she stands victoriously over the tyrant; her foot is planted firmly on his chest, exemplifying her dominant position. The tyrant is a man, also dressed as a warrior. beside him, knocked to the ground, is his crown. He is still holding onto a scourge (a whip) and a chain. "Thus Always to Tyrants" is a warning; Virginia and the United States would treat any oppressor in such a manner.

These words and images appear in a white circle, fringed with red Virginia's creepers and green leaves, on a field of blue. As with many other state flags, the words and images are borrowed from the official state seal, which Virginia's Constitutional Convention adopted on July 5, 1776, one day after our young nation's Independence Day. This date also suggests that Virginia had an official seal before it was even considered a state.

Virginia State Flag
State Flag, Virginia




  • In 1989, Virginia voters elected the country's first African-American governor, Douglas Wilder.
  • Arlington County was a portion of the land surveyed in 1791 to be part of the District of Columbia, but the land was returned to Virginia by the U.S. Congress.
  • Virginia provided four of the first five presidents of the United States, and eight total (as of 2015).
  • Wild ponies have lived on Assateague Island for centuries. The ponies that live on the Virginia end of the island are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. Each year in a roundup, young ponies swim to Chincoteague where they are auctioned off as a fund-raising event.
  • Over 2,200 of the 4,000 battles in the Civil War were fought in Virginia.
  • The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg is the second oldest in the United States, it was founded in 1693.


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