Colorado Day Facts: History of Colorado's meaningful flag

Posted at 1:54 PM, Jul 26, 2016

DENVER --  With Colorado Day coming up on Aug. 1, we wanted to know more about the unique and beautiful design of the Colorado State Flag.

The state flag as it appears today was adopted on June 5, 1911 by an act of the General Assembly.

The flag consists of three alternate stripes of equal width, the two outer stripes are blue, in the same color of the U.S. national flag.

The blue is meant to represent Colorado’s stunning blue skies.

The middle stripe is white, representing the snowcapped Colorado Rockies.

At a distance from the staff end of the flag of one fifth of the total length of the flag there is a circular red “C.” It is the same color as the red in the national flag of the United States. The red represents the ruddy colored earth found throughout Colorado. The diameter of the letter is two-thirds the width of the flag.

Completely filling the open space inside the letter “C” is a golden disk. The gold represents the hundreds of days of sunshine enjoyed by the state year-round.

Attached to the flag is a cord of gold and silver, intertwined, with tassels, one of gold and one of silver.

Flag Chronology

  • Coronado's expedition into the Southwest in 1540-42 gave substance to Spain's claim to the entire western interior region to the United States.
  • In 1662, when LaSalle floated down the Mississippi River, he claimed for France the entire drainage area of the "Father of Waters", which included a substantial area of Colorado.
  • During the 17th and 18th centuries, the British Colonies of New England and Virginia extended their theoretical boundaries all the way to the pacific Coast, overlapping the French and Spanish claims.
  • Between 1763 and 1848, Colorado belonged in varying proportions to France, Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Texas.
  • In 1803, when Napoleon withdrew his claims to the West and negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, a part of Colorado came under U.S. jurisdiction for the first time.
  • Between 1803 and 1861, various flags of the District of Louisiana (part of Indiana Territory), Territory of Louisiana, Missouri Territory, the State of Deseret (predecessor to Utah), Utah Territory, New Mexico Territory, Nebraska Territory, Kansas Territory; and last, Colorado Territory.
  • On February 28, 1861, when Colorado Territory was created, the present boundaries were established and have remained unchanged to the present time.
  • On August 1, 1876, Colorado became the 38th State to enter the Union under the flag of the United States.
  • From 1907 through 1911, a flag flew over Colorado for just five years as the state's flag.
  • In 1911, the official state flag was adopted.