Commemorative issue State flags - American Bicentennial
Ohio’s official flag was adopted by an act of the Ohio Legislature on May 9, 1902. The Ohio burgee (bûr’je), as the swallow-tailed design is properly called, was drawn by John Eisenmann, architect and designer for the Ohio State Pan-American Exposition Commission.
The Ohio flag has three red and two white horizontal stripes. At its staff end is a blue triangular field whose apex is at the center of the middle red stripe; there are 17 white, five-pointed stars grouped around a red disc superimposed upon a white circular “O.”
Mr. Eisenmann explained the Ohio flag’s symbolism most aptly:
“The triangles formed by the main lines of the flag represent the hills and valleys as typified in the State Seal, and the stripes the roads and waterways.
“The stars, indicating the 13 original states of the Union, are grouped about the circle, which represents the Northwest Territory; and that Ohio was the seventeenth state admitted into the Union is shown by adding four more stars.
“The white circle with its red center, not only represents the initial letter of Ohio, but is suggestive of its being the Buckeye State.”