The origin of the Arizona state flag dates back to an Ohio state event, the National Rifle matches. In 1910 at this prestigious event, the Arizona Rifle Team realized that they were lacking something all the other teams had; a flag. Their team captain and Arizona National Guard Colonel, Charles Harris, decided a flag should be created for the team’s use at future matches. With help from Carl Hayden, the first Arizona representative in Congress and future U.S. senator, Colonel Harris began to create the flag. They both felt it was important that the flag invoked historical values and the colors selected supported this idea. The first flag was taken to the 1911 matches and had been sewn by Carl’s wife, Nan D. Hayden. In 1912 Colonel Harris designed a flag for the state of Arizona based upon his original creation for his team. The top half consists of 13 rays alternating in red and yellow to represent the 13 original colonies of the United States and the setting of the western sun. In the center is a large copper star to signify the abundance of this metal that is produced in Arizona. The lower portion is Liberty blue which is the same blue used in the American flag. This blue combined with the yellow in the rays makes up Arizona’s state colors and the red offers two representations. The first is that it is the same red that is used for the American flag and the second is that when combined with the yellow it shows the colors flown by the Spanish Conquistadors while searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540. In February of 1917 this flag was officially adopted as the state flag of Arizona.
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