The Arizona Flag originated in the year 1910, when the head of the Arizona National Guard, Colonel Charles W. Harris set out to design a flag for the Arizona Rifle Team at the National Matches of that year. In prior years, Arizona had been the only team to compete at the National Matches without a flag, thus the Arizona Flag as we know it today was born.
The Arizona Flag consists of 13 rays of red and gold on the top half of the flag. These rays supposedly represent both the rays of the Western setting sun as well as the original 13 counties of Arizona. The actual red and gold colors likely originate from the flags of the conquistadors of Spain. Red and gold were the colors carried by Coronado in his search of the Seven Cities of Cibola in the year 1540.
The Arizona Flag also contains a copper colored star in the center of the flag, which represents the copper mining industry in Arizona. At the time of inception of the Arizona Flag, Arizona was the largest producer of copper in the nation. The rest of the flag is colored blue, which – just as the American Flag– is meant to represent liberty.
The Arizona Flag was adopted as the official flag on February 17, 1917 by the third state legislature. Interestingly enough, it was actually passed into law without the signature of then Governor Thomas Campbell. To this day, there is no record of the governor ever issuing an official statement as to why he decided to not take action on the bill.
In a study done in 2001, the Arizona flag was voted among the top 10 best flags on the continent. The Arizona flag was ranked 6th out of 72 flags in North America for overall design and quality.