The flag of Florida consists of the seal of Florida emblazoned upon a white background and a red saltire (diagonal cross). At first glance, the Florida flag seems strikingly simple – however upon further inspection, the intricacies of the flag of the “Sunshine State” start to become apparent.
Despite the simplicity of the red cross on top of a white background, the centerpiece of the Florida flag is unusually complex. Officially coined the “Great Seal of the State of Florida”, the centerpiece in the Florida flag does its best to represent the many facets of Florida life.
First and perhaps most obviously, the seal depicts a Seminole woman standing on the Floridian shoreline spreading Hibisucus flowers. A steamboat can be seen in the background of the seal, sailing off into the strikingly beautiful Floridian horizon. Also pictured on the seal of Florida is the state tree – the Sabal Palm. Encircling the entire scene are the words “GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA” and “IN GOD WE TRUST”.
Originally, the design of the Flag of Florida consisted of no more than the seal of Florida atop a white background. However, this was changed in the late 1890s according to the wishes of General Francis P Fleming, who suggested that a red cross be added to the background so that the flag would not appear to simply represent the white flag of surrender when floating atop the flagpole.
One interesting thing to note about Florida is the fact that at least 16 different flags have flown over Florida at various times during its history. Currently, there is even a small grassroots movement aimed at redesigning the Florida flag yet again to commemorate Florida’s 500th anniversary. The future of the Florida flag remains yet to be seen – however one thing is very apparent, and that is that the Florida flag has perhaps one of the richest histories of any flag in the Untied States of America.