The flag of the state of Arkansas is a red field charged with a large blue-bordered white diamond. Twenty-nine five-pointed stars appear on the flag: twenty-five small white stars within the blue border, and four larger blue stars in the white diamond. The inscription "ARKANSAS" appears in blue within the white diamond, with one star above and three stars below. The star above and the two outer stars below point upwards; the inner star below points downwards.
The design was created by Willie Kavanaugh Hocker of Wabbaseka and selected from a field of 65 entries in a 1912 contest.
The flag's elements have a complex symbolism. According to the 1987 state law defining the flag, the diamond represents Arkansas' status as "the only diamond-bearing state in the Union". (Crater of Diamonds State Park was the only diamond mine in North America at the time, before more recent discoveries in Colorado and Montana.) The number (25) of white stars around the border of the diamond represents Arkansas' position as the 25th state to join the union. The blue star above "ARKANSAS" represents the Confederate States of America, which Arkansas joined in secession.
The three stars below "ARKANSAS" have three separate meanings:
The three nations to which Arkansas has belonged (Spain, France, and the U.S.)
The Louisiana Purchase, which brought Arkansas into the U.S., was signed in 1803.
Arkansas was the third state (after Louisiana and Missouri) formed from the Louisiana Purchase.