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Wyoming (U.S.)

Last modified: 2022-06-04 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of Wyoming] image by Clay Moss, 23 February 2009

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In 1891, a star was added, representing Wyoming, bringing the total number of stars on the U.S. flag to 44. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.


The Natrona County Public Library in Casper also owns a copy of the original design, together with a text written by Veran Keays herself in 1960. The last paragraph of the text states:
"The symbolism of the flag is as follows:
The Great Seal of the State of Wyoming is the heart of the flag.
The seal on the bison represents the truly western custom of branding.
The bison was once "Monarch of the Plains."
The red border represents the Red Men, who knew and loved our country long before any of us were here; also, the blood of the pioneers who gave their lives in reclaiming the soil.
White is an emblem of purity and uprightness over Wyoming.
Blue, which is found in the bluest blue of Wyoming skies and the distant mountains, has through the ages been symbolic of fidelity, justice and virility.
And finally the red, white and blue of the flag of the State of Wyoming are the colors of the greatest flag in all the world, the Stars and Stripes of the United States of America."

In a 4 December, 2008, article in the "Northern Wyoming Daily News" (Worland, Wyoming) Jeanette Johnson reported on a campaign to change the state flag of Wyoming. The article contains more information on the current flag designer:
"[...] the flag design [was] created by Verna Keays, whose father encouraged, then insisted, his daughter take the skills she learned after graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago and submit a design in hopes of winning a $20 prize."
Keays' original design (with the bison facing the fly) is shown on the website of the Carbon County Museum, with the following notice:
"The Carbon County Museum owns an original Wyoming flag. It was donated to the Carbon County Museum in 1947 by Mr. and Mrs. P.E. Daley. The flag was presented to Mr. P.E. Daley's father, W.W. Daley, when he was president of the Wyoming State Senate. Miss Verna Keays won a contest sponsored by the Wyoming DAR in 1916 for her design of the flag. She won $20.00 and competed against 36 other entries. She was 24 years old when her design was officially designated the state flag. The flag was adopted by the 14th Wyoming State Legislature on January 31, 1917. This information is from Annals of Wyoming, The Wyoming History Journal Vol. 71, No.1 Winter 1999 page 2-9. Authored by Priscilla Keys Newell."
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2008

The colors used are those of the national flag, Pantone Red 193C and Pantone Blue 281C.
Stephen Van Court, 27 May 2008

The image posted above is the "official" illustration of the flag of Wyoming with one notable exception, and that exception is due to what I believe is an error in the flag's description. According to the legal description of Wyoming's flag, the state seal on the flag should be 1/5 in diameter the length of the flag. At 1/5 the length of the flag, the seal is too big to fit into the bison. I tried 1/5 the width of the flag, and that made the seal really small. I finally tried 1/5 the length of the blue field and got a satisfactory sizing that seems to correspond to other images that I have seen.

I have also drawn an alternative Wyoming flag. Although the official specifications are 7:10 and the size of each piece of the flag clearly spelled out (seal noted), US flag manufacturers generally don't pay attention to said official specs and tend to go their own way in manufacturing Wyoming flags. I measured an actual Wyoming flag to come up with this illustration.
Clay Moss, 23 February 2009

Legal Description

8-3-101. Great seal of the state of Wyoming. There shall be a great seal of the state of Wyoming, which shall be of the following design, viz: A circle one and one-half (1 1/2) inches in diameter, on the outer edge or rim of which shall be engraved the words "Great Seal of the State of Wyoming." The design shall conform substantially to the following description: A pedestal, showing on the front thereof an eagle resting upon a shield, the shield to have engraved thereon a star and the figures, "44," being the number of Wyoming in the order of admission to statehood. Standing upon the pedestal shall be a draped figure of a woman, modeled after the statue of the "Victory of the Louvre, "from whose wrists shall hang links of a broken chain, and holding in her right hand a staff from the top of which shall float a banner with the words "Equal Rights" thereon, all suggesting the political position of woman in this state. On either side of the pedestal and standing at the base thereof, shall be male figures typifying the livestock and mining industries of Wyoming. Behind the pedestal, and in the background, shall be two (2) pillars, each supporting a lighted lamp, signifying the light of knowledge. Around each pillar shall be a scroll with the following words thereon: On the right of the central figure the words "Livestock" and "Grain," and on the left the words "Mines" and "Oil." At the base of the pedestal, and in front, shall appear the figures "1869-1890," the former date signifying the organization of the territory of Wyoming and the latter the date of its admission to statehood.

8-3-102. Adoption, use and specifications of state flag; penalty for misuse. (a) A state flag is adopted to be used on all occasions when the state is officially and publicly represented. All citizens have the privilege of use of the flag upon any occasion they deem appropriate. The width of the flag shall be seven-tenths (7/10) of its length; the outside border shall be in red, the width of which shall be one-twentieth (1/20) of the length of the flag; next to the border shall be a stripe of white on the four (4) sides of the field, which shall be in width one-fortieth (1/40) of the length of the flag. The remainder of the flag shall be a blue field, in the center of which shall be a white silhouetted buffalo, the length of which shall be one-half (1/2) of the length of the blue field; the other measurements of the buffalo shall be in proportion to its length. On the ribs of the buffalo shall be the great seal of the state of Wyoming in blue. The seal shall be in diameter one-fifth (1/5) the length of the flag. Attached to the flag shall be a cord of gold with gold tassels. The same colors shall be used in the flag, red, white and blue, as are used in the flag of the United States of America. (b) All penalties provided by the laws of this state for the misuse of the national flag are applicable to the state flag.

8-3-114. State territorial flag. (a) The state territorial flag shall be a flag with a field of blue, the name "WYOMING" printed across the top of the flag and the phrase, "CEDANT ARMA TOGAE" printed across the bottom of the flag. In the center of the flag shall be a shield with a border of gold divided into three (3) parts: (i) The top half of the shield shall have the numbers "1869" across the top and depict mountains and a train; (ii) The lower left part of the shield shall depict a staff, shovel, plow and pick; and (iii) The lower right part of the shield shall depict an arm and hand holding a sword. (b) The provisions of W.S. 8-3-102(a) on the display and use of the state flag shall be applicable to the display and use of the state territorial flag.

Joe McMillan, 22 February 2000


[Seal of Wyoming] image by Clay Moss, 26 February 2008
Image based on an image of the Wyoming state flag at (site no longer active). I added the lettering and knotted detail on the seal.
Clay Moss, 26 February 2008

Old Wyoming Flag

[Old Flag of Wyoming] image by Antonio Martins, 4 November 1998

The original design of the Wyoming flag had buffalo facing the fly, but the design was changed since the buffaloes weather the blizzards, etc. on the Great Plains by facing *into* the wind. Therefore the buffalo on the flag was reversed on the field to face the hoist.
Albin Wagner, 21 January 1998