Flag of Arkansas
|Design||Red field containing a large blue-bordered white diamond. Twenty-nine five-pointed stars appear on the flag: twenty-five small white stars within the blue border, and four larger blue stars in the white diamond. The inscription "ARKANSAS" appears in blue within the white lozenge, with one star above and three stars below. The star above and the two outer stars below point upwards; the inner star below points downwards. |
The design was created by Willie Kavanaugh Hocker of Wabbaseka and selected from a field of 65 entries in a 1912 contest.
Around 1912, the Pine Bluff chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) wished to present a state flag for the commissioning of the battleship USS Arkansas. When it was discovered that Arkansas did not have a state flag, the DAR chapter decided to sponsor a contest to design a flag. Hocker, a member of the Pine Bluff DAR chapter, won with a design that is similar to the current flag. She designed the flag with three blue stars in the middle of the white diamond and omitted "ARKANSAS". At the request of the flag committee, chaired by Secretary of State Earle Hodges, Hocker added "ARKANSAS" and rearranged the stars to one on top and two on bottom. This flag was adopted by the legislature on February 26,1913. 
According to the 1987 state law defining the flag, the diamond represents Arkansas' status as "the only diamond-bearing state in the Union" (Crater of Diamonds State Park was the only diamond mine in North America at the time, before more recent discoveries in Colorado and Montana). The number (25) of white stars around the border of the diamond represents Arkansas' position as the 25th state to join the union. The blue star above "ARKANSAS" represents the Confederate States of America, which Arkansas joined in secession. The design of the border around the white diamond evokes the saltire found on the Confederate battle flag.
The three stars below "ARKANSAS" have three separate meanings: it represents the three nations to which Arkansas has belonged (Spain, France, and the U.S.); the Louisiana Purchase, which brought Arkansas into the U.S. and was signed in 1803; and Arkansas as the third state (after Louisiana and Missouri) formed from the Louisiana Purchase.