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About the Tennessee flag

The flag of the state of Tennessee consists of an emblem on a field of red, with a strip of blue on the fly. The emblem of the middle consists of three stars on a blue circle. The flag was designed by Colonel LeRoy Reeves of the Tennessee National Guard. The Tennessee State Legislature officially adopted the flag on April 17, 1905. The flag was first raised on October 10, 1911, during the dedication ceremonies for East Tennessee State Normal School in Johnson City. The central emblem portion of the flag appears in the logos of some Tennessee-based companies and sports teams. Examples include the First Tennessee Bank and the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.

The three stars represent the three main geographical divisions of the state, East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The blue circle around the stars represents the unity of the "Grand Divisions" of the state. The blue bar at the edge of the flag was purely a design consideration. When asked about the blue bar, Reeves stated that "The final blue bar relieves the sameness of the crimson field and prevents the flag from showing too much crimson when hanging limp." The National Geographic magazine erroneously reported in October 1917 that the stars represent Tennessee's status as the third state to enter the United States after the original thirteen.

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