Flag of Florida
|Design||A red saltire on a white field, with the seal of Florida superimposed at the center. |
The design was approved by popular referendum November 6, 1900. The flag's current design has been in use since May 21, 1985, after the state seal was graphically altered and officially sanctioned for use by state officials.
Between 1868 and 1900, the flag of Florida was simply the state seal on a white background. In a discrepancy, however, a later version of the state seal depicts a steamboat with a white flag that includes a red saltire, similar to Florida's current flag. In the late 1890s, Governor Francis P. Fleming, a nationalist, advocated that St. Andrew's Cross be added so that it would not appear to be a white flag of truce hanging still on a flagpole. Floridians approved the addition of St. Andrew's Cross by popular referendum in 1900. The red saltire of the Cross of Burgundy represents the cross on which St. Andrew was crucified, and the standard can be frequently seen in Florida's historic settlements, such as St. Augustine, today.
Lastly, some historians see the addition of a red saltire as a commemoration of Florida's contributions to the Confederacy by Governor Fleming, who served in the 2nd Florida Regiment of the Confederate army. The addition was made during a period of nostalgia for the "Lost Cause" around the time of the flag's change. According to historian John M. Coski, the adoption of Florida's flag coincided with the rise of Jim Crow laws and segregation, as other former Confederate slave states, such as Mississippi and Alabama, also adopted new state flags based off Confederate designs around the same time when those states instituted Jim Crow segregation laws themselves