World Wide Gifts Announces its New Line of US State Flag Fridge Magnets

For the fans of souvenirs from the USA, World Wide Gifts is pleased to announce its new collection of fridge magnets, each bearing the image of one of the Fifty American States. Read on for information about this collection and about the role of state flags in America.

A Flag For Every State, The Perfect Souvenir From the USA

Although today the United States is thought of as a single nation, with a single citizenship and identity, this was not always the case. Originally, the thirteen founding states were independent nations and a number of later arrivals to the roll of states were also independent, including Hawai'i, Texas, California and Vermont. As independent nations, these states had symbols like flags, seals, anthems and constitutions which they inherited when joining the Union. Even those states that were never independent also designed flags that represented some element of the state's history, economy or values. Many of these flags were informal before the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago when they were formalized for display in the states' pavilions. Today, they remain important symbols, but are also great themes for souvenirs and are popular gifts.

Favorite Flags: Knock Out Designs and Great History

There are a number of popular themes for flags. The most traditional flags, like the Flag of New York, or the Flag of Connecticut, contain some element of the state's Great Seal or Coat of Arms. They are thus not like modern national flags, which typically have very simple designs (like the Tricolour of France). Some of the most beautiful designs go back deep into the state's history, such as the Flag of Maryland (which was the banner of the First Baron of Baltimore in the 1500s) or South Carolina (which has a silver crescent moon and palmetto tree on a blue background, which descends from a 1765 flag). A number of the flags are more abstract, such as the indigenous designs on the Flag of New Mexico or the Constellation of the Big Dipper on the Flag of Alaska.

Controversial Flag Designs

While flags are certainly popular souvenirs from America, and are often proud elements of the state's history, they have also been deeply controversial at times. The most hotly debated flags are a number from the states of the southeast that seceded from the Union during the American Civil War in the 1860s. During the Civil Rights Movement, a number of these state governments elected to put the "Rebel Flag," the banner of the secession movement, on their flags as a symbol of fidelity to the values of the slave-holding rebels. The only flag still retaining that design is the Flag of Mississippi, but another relatively new flag, the Flag of Georgia (2003), once had the same design. Georgia in particular has had a long a convoluted history of flags, and the current design is the eighth one to fly over the Peach State.