The flag of the state of New Hampshire consists of the state seal centered on a blue background. The Great Seal depicts the frigate USS Raleigh and is surrounded by a laurel wreath with nine stars. The Raleigh is one of the first 13 warships sponsored by the Continental Congress for a new American navy, built in 1776, at Portsmouth. The seal is surrounded by a laurel wreath. The wreath is an ancient symbol of fame, honor, and victory. The nine stars within the wreath show that New Hampshire was the ninth state to join the Union. The water stands for the harbor of Portsmouth, and in the yellow-colored spit of land is granite, a strong igneous rock, representing both New Hampshire's rugged landscape and the sturdy character of her people.

At least one elected official has suggested replacing the state seal in the center of the flag with the Old Man of the Mountain, to memorialize its collapse in 2003, but no official action has been taken on the proposal.

Proposals for a New Flag of New Hampshire[edit | edit source]

Symbolism[edit | edit source]

Flags of the Second New Hampshire Regiment[edit | edit source]

The Second New Hampshire fought in the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783. The unit fought at Boston, Trois-Rivières, Trenton, and Princeton, and was based at Fort Ticonderoga during 1776 and 1777. The fort was abandoned on July 5, 1777, in the face of advancing British troops. On July 8, British forces captured part of the regiment, including two regimental colors. The flags remained in the family of the British commander, Lt. Col. John Hill, for many years. Author Gherardi Davis located them in 1907 while doing research on early American regimental colors. In 1913 Edward Tuck bought them and donated them to the New Hampshire Historical Society, where they remain on display on either side of the main staircase. A number of proposals for a new state flag use elements from these colors.

The Old Man of the Mountain[edit | edit source]

The Old Man of the Mountain shortly before its collapse

The Old Man of the Mountain was an iconic rock formation in New Hampshire's White Mountains. In 1945 New Hampshire declared it the official state emblem, and it appears in official iconography such as state highway signs, the state quarter, state police cars, and logos for government departments. Signs that the Old Man was growing unstable were observed as early as 1906, and despite almost a century of efforts to preserve it, the entire formation collapsed on May 3, 2003. Shortly after that, there was a failed effort to redesign the state seal around the Old Man symbol.

Purple lilac[edit | edit source]


The purple lilac is New Hampshire's state flower, and some proposed flags incorporate the flower or its leaves into their design. Use of the color purple may represent both the lilac and the purple finch, New Hampshire's state bird.

Paper birch[edit | edit source]

New Hampshire's state tree is the paper birch. Some proposed flags contain symbols that represent the leaves or bark of this tree.

White Mountains[edit | edit source]

Mount Washington

Some flag designs incorporate mountains or the color white to represent the White Mountains, a range covering about a quarter of New Hampshire that is the most rugged in New England.

United States
States and federal district


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