Rhode Island

flag of Rhode Island
The Ocean State
Admitted May 29, 1790

The flag of Rhode Island strays from the average in two ways. It is almost square in shape, compared to the common 2:3 flag proportion, and it uses a low-contrast gold on white instead of a more typical light on dark color scheme.

The original version of the flag was adopted in 1877, but has had two redesigns since.

The current flag was officially adopted November 1, 1897.


The Rhode Island flag features a field of white with a golden anchor at center, surrounded by a ring of thirteen gold five-pointed stars.

A blue ribbon sits below the anchor, with the word “Hope” inscribed in gold.

Three edges (except the hoist) are detailed with golden fringe.

flag of Rhode Island


  • a ring of thirteen stars

    13 stars

    Rhode Island, the thirteenth colony

  • an anchor


    maritime travel and commerce, hope

  • “Hope” inscribed on a banner



    Note: Howard Chapin, Librarian of the Rhode Island Historical Society, attributed the state’s motto “Hope” to a biblical verse, “Hope we have as an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:18-19).

Coat of Arms

The anchor and “Hope” are also featured on Rhode Island’s coat of arms, adopted in 1881.

the Rhode Island coat of arms


The Rhode Island flag is one of only a few with a field of white.

Rhode Island statute does not provide Cable or Pantone values for the colors of the flag.The hex values here are approximations.


Rhode Island statute specifies the proportion and spacing for the flag’s visual elements in feet and inches.

Not quite square, the flag has a hoist of 4 feet, 10 inches and a fly of 5 feet, 6 inches.

Statute specifies the flag be edged with gold fringe, but many are produced without it.


Any pike (flagpole) flying the flag should be surmounted by a spearhead and be 9 feet tall (not including the spearhead).

construction sheet for the flag of Rhode Island

Previous iterations

  • a field of white charged with a red shield inscribed with “Hope”, containing a blue anchor, and surrounded by a circle of 39 blue stars


    A field of white to correspnd with facings on state militia uniforms. 39 stars represent the number of states in the Union at the time.

  • a field of blue charged with a gold anchor surrounded by a circle of thirteen gold stars


    Changes to a field of blue with gold stars and anchor. The number of stars is reduced to 13.

  • the current flag


    Returns to the field of white and “Hope” is reintroduced.