Iowa didn’t adopt an official state flag until 1921, almost 75 years after it joined to the Union. As the story has it, it was only after stationing state troops along the Mexican border during World War I did it dawn on people the fact that they didn’t have a flag of their own.
The current, tri-color, Iowa flag was created by Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, and it’s evident that he designed it with the state’s history in mind. The verticle red, white, and blue colors are an ode to the flag of France. The broader white stripe in the center is said to represent the Native Americans that resided in the land prior to it being colonized by Europeans. Finally, the Bald Eagle in the center of the flag symbolizes Iowa’s union and integration into the United States of America. The eagle holds is a blue banner in its beak bearing the state motto: “Our Liberties We Prize, and Our Rights We Will Maintain.”
The Illinois State flag seems pretty straight forward at first glance- a white field with the name, “Illinois” underneath, with a seal at its center, showing a bald eagle, with a red banner in its beak flaunting the state’s motto, “State Sovereignty, National Union.”
In 1867, then-Secretary of State Sharon Tyndale had wanted to reverse the order of the phrases to show support for the Union during the Reconstruction era but was overruled by the state Senate. He did, however, place the word “sovereignty” upside down to make it harder to read.
The state flag of Indiana incorporates symbolism reflective of the country's history alongside tributes to the state itself. The dark blue flag has a torch in its center that stands for values that the American people hold in high regard, liberty and enlightenment. The rays that emanate from the torch represent Indiana’s widespread influence.
There is a total of nineteen stars on the flag, as Indiana was the 19th state admitted to the Union. The thirteen outer stars circling the torch represent the original thirteen colonies, while the five inner stars stand for to the next fives states expected to join the Union. The largest star at the top of the flag, right below the name of the state, represents the state itself. With such a powerful symbolisms it's no wonder Indiana's first official flag and has remained unchanged since it was adopted in 1917.
Adopted in 1927, the state flag of Kansas lay on a dark-blue background that includes the state seal in its center and a wild sunflower which is the state flower.
You'll notice that between the sunflower and the seal there's a gold and blue bar that represents the Louisiana Purchase (flashback to high-school history classes) through which Kansas was acquired from France. The seal displays the state motto that tells the story of Kansas, “Ad Astra per Aspera,” a Latin phrase meaning “To the Stars through Difficulties.” The thirty-four stars below the motto remind us that Kansas was the 34th state to be admitted into the Union. The word “Kansas” was added to the bottom of the flag later in 1961.
The Kentucky state flag was adopted in 1918. It was designed by Jesse Cox Burgess, an art teacher from Frankfort, and features the Bluegrass State’s seal in the center of a navy blue background. The seal features two men, one wearing buckskin, representing the frontiersmen, and the other in a suit, representing the statesmen. It's believed that these two figures embracing each other also represent the state motto, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” that circles them. The seal also includes a goldenrod wreath, goldenrod is the state flower, and the words, “Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
It is widely believed is that the buckskin-clad man is Kentucky's loved frontiersman, Daniel Boone, one of the first folk heroes of the U.S., and that man in the suit is Kentucky's most famous statesman, Henry Clay.