Rayon Rhode Island flag mounted to a black dowel with a gold spear. --- As the last of the original 13 colonies to join the Union, it took the state of Rhode Island over 100 years to formally adopt a state flag. Although the flag’s main feature, an anchor, was adopted as the official seal when “Providence Plantations” was established in the mid 1600s, Rhode Island only officially adopted a state flag in 1897. It was the third state to do so, after New York and New Jersey. On a white field is a gold anchor encircled by 13 gold stars representing the 13 original colonies. Beneath the anchor is the motto “Hope” in gold letters on a blue ribbon. The stars and anchor are outlined in the same blue. The colors blue and white were carried over from flags flown by Rhode Island regiments during the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War.