100th Anniversary of the Arkansas State Flag

In late 1911, the Pine Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R)began discussing their desire to present a “strand of colors” to the USS Arkansas upon the battleship’s commissioning. In early 1912 the D.A.R. members contacted Secretary of State Earle W. Hodges, who informed them that Arkansas did not have an official state flag. With Hodges approval and agreement to chair the selection committee, the ladies of the Pine Bluff D.A.R. launched a statewide contest to design the flag in 1912. The winning design was created by Willie Kavanaugh Hocker of Wabbaseka, who also happened to be a longtime member of the Pine Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Miss Hockner’s design was officially adopted as the Arkansas State Flag on Feb. 18, 1913.  Hocker’s design featured a rectangular red field upon which was centered a white rhombus diamond bordered by 25 white stars on a blue band. Three blue stars, centered on the flag’s horizontal axis on a white field within the rhombus, completed the plan. The three blue stars in the center field bore several meanings: first, that Arkansas had successively belonged to three countries—France, Spain, and the United States—before statehood; second, that 1803 was the year of the Louisiana Purchase, which included present-day Arkansas; third, that Arkansas was the third state created from the purchase. The 25 white stars symbolized that Arkansas was the 25th state admitted to the Union. The diamond marked Arkansas’s status as the nation’s only diamond-producing state.