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Modern U.S. state flags date from the 1890s, when states wanted to have distinctive symbols at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Most U.S. state flags were designed and adopted between 1893 and World War I.
According to a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Association, New Mexico has the best-designed flag of any U.S. state, U.S. territory, or Canadian province, while Georgia's state flag was rated the worst design. (Georgia adopted a new flag in 2003; Nebraska's state flag, whose design was rated second worst, remains in use to date.) About half the flags have a common "seal on a bed sheet" design, wherein the state seal is simply put on a solid, usually blue, background. Such flags consistently get the lowest ranks from the Vexillological Association.
Dates in parentheses denote when the flag was adopted by the state's legislature.
Maine and Massachusetts have ensigns differing from the state flag for use at sea.
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HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2001, ch. 301, § 2, eff from and after February 7, 2001 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)
Colors shall be colorfast and shall not bleed one into another. Added by Laws 1925, c. 234, p. 340, § 1. Amended by Laws 1941, p. 90, § 1; Laws 2006, c. 181, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2006.
This act shall become effective November 1, 2006.
The flag of the Commonwealth shall be a deep blue field, with a circular white centre of the same material. Upon this circle shall be painted or embroidered, to show on both sides alike, the coat of arms of the Commonwealth, as described in § 1-500 for the obverse of the great seal of the Commonwealth; and there may be a white fringe on the outer edge, furthest from the flagstaff. This shall be known and respected as the flag of the Commonwealth. (Code 1950, § 7-32; 1966, c. 102, § 7.1-32; 2005, c. 839.)