The Florida State Flag has a colorful history, with six different designs since 1845. The most current as of 2015 shows two diagonal red bars on a white background with the Great Seal of the State of Florida at the intersection of the bars. The red “X” on the flag symbolizes the Confederate States of America, and the Great Seal displays a Native American Seminole woman, a brilliant sun, a steamboat and a cabbage palmetto tree.
Florida officially became a state on March 3, 1845, and its first state flag was flown during the new governor’s inauguration. However, that flag was never made the official state flag because there was controversy surrounding the words “Let Us Alone” inscribed on the flag. When Florida seceded from the Union in 1861, many unofficial flags flew over the state. During 1861, Florida’s first official flag was documented by the secretary of state, but it is unknown whether this flag was ever flown over the Capitol. Later that year, Colonel William H. Chase took control of Pensacola Navy Yard during the crisis before the Civil War, and the Lone Star flag was raised as a provisional flag. A “secession” flag was also flown at the Capitol during the 1861 signing of the Ordinance of Secession. The design of the flag was overhauled in 1868 when the Constitutional Convention designed Florida’s second official state flag. This flag displayed the Great Seal of the State on a pure white background. In 1900, the red bars were added to the flag, and the flag has not been changed since.