New Hampshire, named for Hampshire, England by Captain John Mason, became the ninth state to join the Union in 1788. The New Hampshire legislature officially adopted the NH flag in 1909, although several regimental flags represented the state prior to that. The New Hampshire state flag, in use since 1784, appears with the State Seal on a deep blue background. On the seal is the frigate USS Raleigh in front of the rising sun. The Raleigh, built in 1776 as one of the first 13 warships to fight the British in the Revolutionary War, is sailing near a large gray granite boulder. (The state nickname is “the Granite State.”) Encircling the frigate are the words “Seal of the State of New Hampshire” with the date “1776” below it. A wreath of yellow laurel leaves interspersed with nine stars surrounds the seal on the NH flag. The New Hampshire state flag has been changed one time in 1931 by the legislature to add more specific detail to the elements of the State Seal.