Adopted in 1897, the Rhode Island State Flag was only the third of the original thirteen colonies to officially sanction a state banner. The General Assembly of the state of Rhode Island adopted an official design for the Rhode Island Flag approximately ninety years after Rhode Island formed a union. The colors and design of the Rhode Island state flag date back to colonial times – the original establishment of Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations under King Charles II of England. The most prominent feature of the Rhode Island state flag is the anchor, which dates back to 1647 and the Cromwellian Patent of 1643 when the Providence Plantations were established. The anchor was commended as the seal for Rhode Island in 1647, when the four original towns of Rhode Island (Providence, Warwick, Portsmouth, and Newport) united under one single charter.
Today’s Rhode Island state flag is much like the state flag that was adopted in 1897. Centered on the white field is an anchor surrounded by thirteen stars. Below the Anchor is a blue ribbon that displays the word "HOPE", the Rhode Island State motto.
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