The flag of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations dates from King Charles II colonial times and was officially adopted in 1897, with posterior minor changes.
The flag ratio is 29:33, the narrowest among all USA state flags. The flag is constituted by a white field, with thirteen golden stars, representing the original thirteen colonies and the fact Rhode Island was the thirteenth and last colony to sign the Declaration of Independence. The state motto, "HOPE", is written with golden letters in a blue ribbon, below a golden anchor, that also represents hope, in reference to Biblical phrase "hope we have as an anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:18-19). Usually the flag holds a golden fringe.
The anchor has been used to symbolize Rhode Island since the 1630s. The anchor is a maritime sign of hope, which makes reference to the state motto and its maritime history. The 13 stars symbolize the 13 original US colonies, of which Rhode Island was the thirteenth to ratify the Constitution. The gold border borrows from prior flags of the state. Posted by Preston Knapp 
Proposal for a flag for Rhode island. The color orange is taken from the Governor's flag.