Arizona’s Flag and its Story

The first flags in what is now the American
state of Arizona were those of the Spanish that explored, settled, and traded there.
The area became part of an independent Mexico when that country gained its independence
from Spain in 1821. Most of the land was surrendered by Mexico to the United States at the conclusion
of the Mexican-American War in 1848. The southern portion of what is now Arizona, south of the
Gila River, was then sold by Mexico to the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase
in 1853. The Territory of Arizona was organized in 1863. During the Civil War, the Confederacy
claimed what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona as a Confederate territory. In 1912,
Arizona was admitted as the 48th state. That same year, two stars were added to the national
flag for the new states of New Mexico and Arizona. The flag of Arizona was adopted in 1917. It
consists of 13 rays of red and yellow on the top half, rising out of a central cooper colored
star. The red and yellow are the colors of the flag of Spain, a reference to Arizona’s
colonial past. The number 13 is a reference to the 13 original states. The cooper symbolizes
Arizona’s cooper industry, an important mineral mined within the state. The bottom
half of the flag is blue, representing the Colorado River, which runs through the Grand
Canyon in the northern portion of the Arizona and acts as most of the western boundary of
the state. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit
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right here. Thanks for watching.

Stephen Childs


  1. Sorry grew up in AZ and your incorrect. The 13 ascending stripes are for the original 13 counties of Arizona. The red and yellow do represent Spain but also for a new dawn.Blue base is for the color of the mountains, possible the superstitions, as the sun rises. The copper star is for the the natural resources which the main part is mining and mostly copper.

    The Arizona flag was first an army regiment flag of the National Guard, and possibly in some form used while Arizona was territory with the Ruff Riders.

  2. the radiating rays also symbolise our fantastic sunsets, with the copper star being the sun and the blue being the shadowy mountains.

  3. I'm an Arizonian and proud! Love my state. I was born and raised in the Mountains of Pinetop Lakeside.

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