Pennsylvania Flag

State of Pennsylvania

Nicknames: The Keystone State
Motto(s): Virtue, Liberty, and Independence
Date of Statehood: December 12, 1787 (2nd state)
State Song: “Pennsylvania,” by Eddie Khoury and Ronnie Bonner

Pennsylvania Flag History

The flag of Pennsylvania, adopted in 1907, reflects the state’s history and values. The flag is composed of a deep blue field, mirroring the blue of the nation’s flag, signifying loyalty, perseverance, and justice. In the center, the state coat of arms is emblazoned, featuring a shield flanked by two horses. Inside the shield, a ship, a plow, and three sheaves of wheat depict the state’s commerce, labor, and agriculture respectively. Above the shield, an eagle, symbolizing state sovereignty, spreads its wings. Below, a ribbon reads the state motto: “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.”

The design reflects Pennsylvania’s pride in its achievements and its commitment to the principles upon which the United States was founded. The inclusion of agricultural and industrial imagery highlights the state’s rich resources and industrious spirit. Pennsylvania’s flag is a testament to its history, its aspirations, and its identity as a fundamental part of the nation.

Pennsylvania Quick Facts

Capital City: Harrisburg
Abbreviation: PA
Population: Approximately 13 million
Region: Northeast / Mid-Atlantic
Origin of State Name: Named in honor of Admiral William Penn, father of William Penn, the state’s founder; “sylvania” means “woods” in Latin
Sports Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
Bordering States: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio
Area Codes: 215, 267, 412, 484, 570, 610, 717, 724, 814, 878
Highest Point: Mount Davis at 3,213 feet (979 meters)
Lowest Point: Delaware River at sea level

Geography of Pennsylvania

Area: 46,055 square miles (119,283 square kilometers), 33rd largest
Land: 44,817 square miles (116,075 square kilometers), 32nd largest
Water: 1,239 square miles (3,208 square kilometers), 38th largest
Coastline: None (landlocked state)
Shoreline: None (landlocked state)

Largest Cities:

  1. Philadelphia
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Allentown
  4. Erie
  5. Reading
  6. Scranton
  7. Bethlehem
  8. Lancaster
  9. Harrisburg
  10. Altoona
  11. York
  12. State College
  13. Wilkes-Barre
  14. Chester
  15. Bethel Park

National Parks:

  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Independence National Historical Park
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Flight 93 National Memorial

Pennsylvania State Symbols

Living Insignia

State Bird: Ruffed Grouse
State Animal: White-tailed Deer
State Amphibian: Eastern Hellbender
State Butterfly: None
State Fish: Brook Trout
State Flower: Mountain Laurel
State Horse Breed: None
State Insect: Pennsylvania Firefly
State Mammal: White-tailed Deer
State Reptile: Eastern Box Turtle

Inanimate Insignia

State Fruit: None
State Gemstone: None
State Soil: Hazleton
State Tree: Eastern Hemlock
State Quarter: Issued in 1999 featuring the Commonwealth statue, the state outline, and the state motto
State Beverage: Milk
State Colors: Blue and Gold
State Dance: Polka
State Food: Chocolate Chip Cookie
State Fossil: Phacops rana
State Mineral: Celestine
State Rock: None