Early in 1912, the Pine Bluff Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), decided to present a "stand of colors" to the new U.S.S. Arkansas battleship, which would include a United States flag, a naval battalion flag, and an Arkansas flag. Secretary of State Earle W. Hodges informed the DAR group that Arkansas had no state flag, which led the Pine Bluff Chapter to immediately launch a movement to obtain one. Through the newspapers, they asked that designs be submitted to Secretary of State Hodges, who agreed to appoint a committee to select an official flag. Sixty-five separate designs were considered by Hodges' committee. The design chosen was the work of Willie Kavanaugh Hocker of Wabbaseka, a member of the Pine Bluff Chapter, DAR. The Arkansas General Assembly passed a resolution on February 26, 1913, affirming the choice of the committee. The Arkansas State Archives holds 43 of the submitted designs.
This flag design features a dark blue background with white diamond in the center. Inside the diamond is a black bear sticking out his tongue, with one paw lifted. Underneath the bear is "Arkansas" in red lettering. Written on the back: "Scale 4x6", proportion 1x1 1/2, On a blue field (the blue of the National flag) a white diamond, on which is blazoned a bear, 'proper rampant' - beneath which, in red, is depicted the word, 'Arkansas' - Arkansas being known both as the Diamond State and the Bear State. Arkansas is the only state in the Union that produces diamonds."
One color drawing
Drawings; Competition drawings; State flags;
Arkansas State Archives
Bear State Flag, Design 1, Flag20a, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas