West Virginia

flag of West Virginia
The Mountain State
Admitted June 20, 1863

After the Civil War began and Virginia joined the Confederacy, 39 of its western counties voted to stay and West Virginia gained statehood in 1863.

It has flown three different flags since, each one representing a kind of “trial and error” approach to flag design. With each iteration, mistakes were fixed and then fixed again.

The two previous versions were among the rare flags with a different design on their reverse.

The current version of the flag was adopted (and has been unchanged since) March 7, 1929.


The West Virginia flag features an outer border of blue surrounding a panel of white.

At the center the state coat of arms is charged, surrounded by a wreath of rhododendron.

Above the coat of arms and on a red banner the words “State of West Virginia” are inscribed.

flag of West Virginia


  • a wreath of flowers and leaves

    rhododendron maximum

    state flower, local flora

  • “Montani Semper Liberi” inscribed on a banner


    separation from Virginia (and the Confederacy), Mountaineers Are Always Free

  • a farmer holding a plow and ax


    agricultural tradition

  • a miner with pickax and hammer and anvil


    mining industry

  • a boulder carved with the date June 20, 1863

    June 20, 1863

    strength in unity, the date West Virginia gained statehood

  • a phrygian cap sitting upon two crossed rifles

    phrygian cap

    liberty, laying down arms

Coat of Arms

West Virginia’s seal was created in 1863 by artist Joseph H. Diss Debar and has been unchanged since.

the West Virginia coat of arms


The West Virginia prominently features blue and white, with supporting colors within the coat of arms.

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


The West Virginia flag uses the same proportion as the U.S. national flag of 1:1.9.

construction sheet for the flag of West Virginia

Previous iterations

  • an outside border of blue surrounding a white panel charged with three bundles of rhododendron flowers


    The original flag featured a sprig of the rhododendron maximum. Its reverse featured the state coat of arms.

  • an outside border of blue surrounding a white panel charged with the coat of arms


    The sides were swapped. The rhododendron was moved to the reverse and the coat of arms to the obverse. The “State of West Virginia” banner was added.

  • the current flag


    The design on the reverse is eliminated and the rhododendron is added around the coat of arms. The banner is moved to the top.