A state flag is a variant of a national flag (or occasionally a completely different design) specifically designated and restricted by law or custom (theoretically or actually) to use by a country's government or its agencies. For this reason they are sometimes referred to as government flags. In many countries the state flag and the civil flag (as flown by the general public) are identical, but in other countries, notably those in Latin America, central Europe, and Scandinavia, the state flag is a more complex version of the national flag, often featuring the national coat of arms or some other emblem as part of the design. Scandinavian countries also use swallowtailed state flags, to further differentiate them from civil flags.
In addition, some countries have state ensigns, separate flags for use by non-military government ships such as coast guard vessels. For example, government ships in the United Kingdom fly the blue ensign.
State flags should not be confused with the national flag as used by military organisations; these are referred to as war flags and naval ensigns.
Read more about State Flag: Flag of A Subnational State
Famous quotes containing the words state and/or flag:
“When we seek reconciliation with our enemies, it is commonly out of a desire to better our own condition, a being harassed and tired out with a state of war, and a fear of some ill accident which we are willing to prevent.”
—François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (16131680)
“My dream is that as the years go by and the world knows more and more of America, it ... will turn to America for those moral inspirations that lie at the basis of all freedom ... that America will come into the full light of the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all other rights, and that her flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity.”
—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)