Virginia State Flag

Date adopted: Mar 28, 1912

The Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia is the official emblem of the state and serves as the central motif on the state flag. This flag, first adopted at the onset of the American Civil War in 1861 and later readopted in 1912, was officially standardized by the General Assembly in 1950. The seal depicts an allegorical female figure representing virtue, triumphant over tyranny, symbolized by a fallen king at her feet. Notably, this flag is unique among U.S. state flags as it features a depiction of partial nudity, with the allegorical figure having an exposed breast, reminiscent of classical Amazonian representations. The flag's motto, "Sic semper tyrannis," translates to "Thus always to tyrants." Additionally, the flag may be adorned with a white fringe along the fly edge, typically used when displayed indoors. The history of Virginia's seal dates back to 1776, with a committee appointed to create a seal for the newly independent colony. The design, influenced by Roman mythology and a desire to avoid British coat of arms styles, has undergone standardization efforts to prevent confusion over various variants.

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