Are There Any Hidden Meanings Inside the Oregon State Flag?
“180 years of searching, and I'm three feet away.” - Nicholas Cage as Ben Gates, from the film, National Treasure
I have been wanting to re-watch the National Treasure film series. Nicholas Cage is the main character, Benjamin Franklin Gates, who is allegedly a descendant of Benjamin Franklin. In the movies, he tries to uncover the hidden symbolism inside the Declaration of Independence and other stuff. Now, I’m no treasure hunter, but I, too, tend to look for secret symbols hidden in stuff.
I’m happy to report there are no secret meanings to the symbols in the Oregon state flag, in fact, it’s pretty cut and dry what each of the symbols mean once you do a little digging around.
The Oregon state flag contains three parts:
- 33 STARS
- An eagle on top of the official Oregon state shield
WHY IS THE OREGON FLAG BLUE?
The Oregon state flag is the color, “Old Glory Blue”, and is the same color blue used in the American flag. The front of the flag contains an eagle and the state shield.
ARE THERE CONSPIRACIES ABOUT THE HIDDEN MEANINGS OF SYMBOLS?
Not to my knowledge, but then again, people can find a C-O-N-spiracy anywhere!
WHAT ARE THE SYMBOLS ON THE OREGON STATE SHIELD?
The shield contains these 12 symbols:
- An American Eagle, representing the United States of America's mascot. (The eagle has a grain of wheat by its left foot and three arrows by its right foot.)
- A Sunset
- Two (2) ships in the Pacific Ocean, one represents Great Britain’s giving up control of the Oregon Territory for good; the other represents an American steam ship heading toward Oregon to stay for good.
- A covered wagon being pulled by 2 oxen over the Oregon Trail.
- The words, “THE UNION” in all caps inside a decorative ribbon
- A Plow, to symbolize livestock for farming needs
- A Pickaxe, to symbolize the gold mining industry
- A Sheaf of Grain, to symbolize Oregon’s crops
- 1 Elk, to symbolize the wild game living in Oregon lands
- 6 Fir Trees, symbolizing the Oregon timber industry
- 1 Mountain, symbolizing the mountain ranges of Oregon
- 7 Ocean Waves, representing the Pacific Ocean surrounding the Oregon coast.
There have been many attempts to change the look of the Oregon state flag, but none of the efforts have made it to the finish line. The last time somebody tried to change the Oregon state flag was in 2013. The bill died in the state Congress and the Oregon flag remains unchanged.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE OREGON STATE FLAG:
- The Oregon state shield was designed in 1857 and officially adopted when the Oregon Territory became a state in 1859. It was some 66 years later before the official flag was designed and adopted by the State Legislature in 1925.
- Oregon is the only state in the Union to have designs on both sides of its state flag.
- There is a beaver on the ground on the other side of the Oregon state flag. It symbolizes the fur trade which made some wealthy in Oregon.
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