Happy Birthday, Indiana!
Indiana became a state December 11, 1816. Each year, IHB joins state agencies and non-profits in celebrating Statehood in a celebration held in the Indiana State House. This year, over 600 school children attended the festivities.
IHB displays the original State Banner at each Statehood Day celebration. The blue and gold state banner was adopted by the 1917 General Assembly as part of the commemoration of the state’s 1916 Centennial celebration, after a competition sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution with a $100 cash prize. The 1920 Indiana Yearbook provides an overview of the selection process. The winning design was by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, Indiana. The dimensions were changed to standard usage and the word "banner" replaced with "flag" in 1955.
The torch stands for liberty and enlightenment; the rays represent their far-reaching influence. The outer circle of thirteen stars represents the original thirteen states; the inner five stars represent the next five states admitted to the Union; the large star is Indiana, the nineteenth state.
Learn more about the state flag and other state emblems.
Right: Original state banner on display for the Statehood Day Celebration.
Left: Students gather after viewing the banner to name all of the other state emblems at IHB's table during the Statehood Day Celebration.
What about the other state flag designs?
IHB staff are occasionally asked about the fate of the unsuccessful submissions in the flag design competition, and it always stumps us. Hadley himself submitted more than one proposal, and the first paper-and-cotton maquette of the winning submission resides in the Indiana State Museum. Perhaps someone in your county entered the contest. Have you seen their flag design on display in a local museum or private collection? If so, write a note on our Facebook wall or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any information that might help IHB recover these State Historical Markers, which were recently reported missing, please contact us!