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General background about the West Virginia Flag

West Virginia Flag     West Virginia Great Seal



West Virginia's state flag consists of a field of white, upon the center of which is emblazoned the proper colors containing the coat-of arms of the State of West Virginia upon which appears the date of the admission of the State into the Union, including the motto, 'Montani Semper Liberi' (Mountaineers Are Always Free). Above the coat-of-arms is a ribbon lettered, 'State of West Virginia,' and arranged appropriately around the lower part of the coat-of-arms is a wreath of Rhododendron maximum. The field of pure white is bordered by a strip of blue on all four sides.

  • MOTTO: "Mountaineers Are Always Free"
  • ENTERED UNION: June 20, 1863
  • FLAG ADOPTED: 1905, (Revised in 1907, and again on March 7, 1929)
  • COMMENTS: Hot summers in valleys, mild in mountains; cool winters. Ample rainfall.


The first flags to represent West Virginia following statehood were battle flags utilized by West Virginia regiments during the American Civil War. West Virginia's first official state flag was adopted in 1905, based upon the flag designed and used by the West Virginia State Commission at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. This flag was altered in 1907 for the Jamestown Exposition and featured the coat of arms on the obverse and a sprig of Rhododendron maximum on the reverse. In order to reproduce the flag more inexpensively, the West Virginia Legislature ratified the current flag with the state's coat of arms integrated with the rhododendron, which appears on both the obverse and the reverse. The "Pledge of Allegiance to the West Virginia State Flag" was unanimously adopted by the office of the Secretary of State of West Virginia in 1977.


West Virginia State Flag
State Flag, West Virginia




  • Moundsville, in the northern panhandle, is one of the oldest and largest Indian burial grounds.
  • The first rural free mail delivery in the United States started in Charles Town on October 6, 1896.
  • West Virginia's mean elevation of 1,500 feet makes it the state with the highest average elevation east of the Mississippi.
  • Outdoor advertising began in Wheeling as early as the 1920s when the makers of Mail Pouch tobacco painted bridges and barns with words encouraging people to chew their product.
  • One of the most legendary family feuds in the United States involved the Hatfield's, who lived on the West Virginia side of the Tug Fork River, and the McCoy's, who lived on the Kentucky side. It lasted from 1863 to 1891.
  • West Virginia is the only state with two panhandles.


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