Nevada Flag History
Adopted: July 25, 1991
Nevada Flag Design: Solid cobalt blue field. The canton contains two sagebrush branches encircling a silver star with the text "Nevada" and "Battle Born".
The official flag of the State of Nevada is hereby created. The body of the flag must be of solid cobalt blue. On the field in the upper left quarter thereof must be two sprays of Sagebrush with the stems crossed at the bottom to form a half wreath. Within the sprays must be a five-pointed silver star with one point up. The word “Nevada” must also be inscribed below the star and above the sprays, in a semicircular pattern with the letters spaced apart in equal increments, in the same style of letters as the words "Battle Born." Above the wreath, and touching the tips thereof, must be a scroll bearing the words "Battle Born." The scroll and the word "Nevada" must be golden-yellow. The lettering on the scroll must be black-colored sans serif gothic capital letters.
For over sixty years beginning in 1929, Nevada's state flag had a design that the legislature did not adopt! Even that long ago the length of the session sometimes exceeded the constitutional provision for 60 days in which the legislators would be paid. A hurried amendment to the bill changing the position of the name "Nevada" on the proposed flag was misplaced in the final hours of the session. Apparently, nobody knew of the snafu until researcher Dana Bennett of the Legislative Council Bureau, and staff at the State Library and Archives, made the discovery in advance of a bill modifying the design of the flag in 1991. SB 396, sponsored by Senator Bill Raggio of Washoe County and signed by Governor Bob Miller, finally provided for an official state flag.
When is a State Flag Official?
By Guy Rocha, Nevada State Archivist
This story begins in 1926 when Lt. Governor Maurice J. Sullivan sponsored a contest offering a $25.00 prize for the winning design of a new state flag. Sullivan argued that the state flag adopted in 1915 was much too detailed and had an excessive amount of colors rendering its manufacture expensive.
The 1927 legislature followed up Sullivan's prize offer and created a flag selection committee. The design chosen was submitted by "Don" Louis Shellback III (later spelled Shellbach). Shellback was an artist and draftsman initially employed by the State Highway Department in Carson City in 1924; later active in the excavation of the Anasazi villages at Lost City in southern Nevada, and custodian and curator at the State Building in Reno at the time he won the flag contest. Shellback, an associate of Democrats Governor James Scrugham and Lt. Governor Sullivan, had enjoyed their patronage.
However, when the Republicans virtually swept the 1926 elections, Shellback lost his job at the State Building despite a plea to Governor Fred Balzar to keep his position. At the same time, there must have been some controversy over the flag design, or maybe its designer, as a bill failed to be introduced in the 1927 session. By May, Shellback was employed at the Museum of the American Indian in New York City.
Senator William Dressler of Douglas County resurrected Shellback's design in 1929. Conspicuously, the proposed new state flag did not include the name of the state. Senate Bill 51 passed the Senate by a vote of 13 yeas, no nays, and 4 absent.
The Assembly Committee on Education recommended SB 51 be passed, but the same day Assemblyman Neil McGill of White Pine County asked that the bill be re-referred to his committee. Later that day, the Education Committee proposed an amendment, credited to Cada C. Boak of Nye county, to add the word "Nevada" to the flag and inscribe the letters between the points of the star. The bill passed the Assembly the next day by a vote of 29 yeas, no nays, 6 absent, and 2 not voting.
However, the battle lines were drawn as the session was rapidly coming to a close. The Senate refused to concur with the Assembly amendment, and the Assembly refused to rescind the amendment. A conference committee was appointed which included Assemblyman McGill and Senator Noble Getchell of Lander County. A compromise amendment was agreed upon which designated that "the word 'Nevada' shall appear immediately below the sprays in silver Roman letters to conform with the letters appearing in the word 'Battle Born'." The Assembly and Senate adopted the conference committee amendment.
Finally, on the last day of the 60-day session, March 21 -- actually in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, March 22 after the legislative clocks had been covered -- a tired Senate Committee on Enrollment reported that it had compared the enrolled bill with the engrossed copy, and finding it correct, had delivered the bill to Governor Balzar.
IT WAS NOT CORRECT! In the legislature's haste to adjourn, the enrolled bill still included the superseded Assembly amendment, and the engrossed bill signed by the governor at 3:10 pm on March 26, 1929, did not contain the conference committee amendment. Nevada's state flag did not reflect legislative intent -- the letters ending up being inscribed between the points of the star instead of below the sprays -- and for some unknown reason, this mistake went undetected for some 60 years. So much for doing business in the hectic, waning days of the legislative session, particularly before the advent of the Legislative Counsel Bureau and professional staff in 1947.
Our flag today continues to reflect Shellback's design except the added letters spelling "Nevada" are below the star and above the sprays.
Postscript: "Don" Louis Shellbach died on September 27, 1971, in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 83 after working for more than 24 years at Grand Canyon for the National Park Service. The principal "father" of Nevada's current state flag was fondly remembered as "Mr. Grand Canyon" in his obituary.
NOT ALL NEVADA STATE FLAGS ARE THE SAME!
Extra care is taken in making these flags. Flag designs are researched to ensure that they are authentic and current. We use sturdy fabrics, allowing the flags to be flown outdoors, indoors, or carried in parades.
Constructed with 100% Heavy Duty Nylon (digital dyed) ★ Beautiful, brilliant colors ★ Resistant to wear and tear of sun & rain ★ Complete with heavy canvas heading & brass grommets to meet the most demanding commercial and residential uses.
- All outdoor flags are finished with heavy-duty thread, polyester heading, brass grommets, and four needle fly hem
- State flags constructed to precise specifications
- Flies in the slightest breeze
- Proudly Made in the USA
- Beautiful Presentation - This Nevada Flag makes an excellent gift for friends, parents, or to PROUDLY display on your HOME or OFFICE.
HEAVY-DUTY NYLON OUTDOOR STATE FLAGS WITH SOLAR SHIELD
Our most popular and versatile outdoor Nevada flag, USA Flag Co. flags offer the optimum combination of elegance and durability for every purpose. The 100% nylon material provides a rich, lustrous appearance. Our flags have superb wearing strength due to the material’s superior strength-to-weight ratio and will fly in the slightest breeze. State flags are finished with strong, polyester canvas headings and spurred brass grommets, and four needle fly hem. The result is a flag that will be flown with pride year after year.
- Rich, Vivid Colors
- Mildew Resistant
- Sheds Water
- Lightweight for Flyability
Add this Nevada Flag to your cart for Immediate Delivery Now.
When is a State Flag Official? by Guy Rocha, Nevada State Archivist
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This is the most common question asked in the industry and the most difficult to answer. No two flags will wear the same due to weather conditions and how often the flag is flown. Our flags offer the best stitching and highest quality materials to get your flag off to a great start.
Do not hang a flag where the wind will whip it against rough surface, such as tree branches, wires or cables or the outside of your home or building. Inspect your flags regularly for signs of wear. Repair any minor rips or tears right away this can be mended easily with a sewing machine or sewing kit. Keep the surface of the pole free of dirt, rust or corrosion that could damage or stain your flag.
We recommend that you hand-wash your flag with mild soap, rinse thoroughly and air dry. You can also use a dry cleaning service.
Exposing your flag to rain, wind, snow or high winds will shorten the life of your flag considerably. If you leave your flag exposed to the elements, it will greatly reduce the life of your flag.
Yes, as long as your pole is large enough to support the weight of the flags. The USA Flag must always fly at the top. The flag underneath should be at least one foot lower and be one size smaller than the USA Flag. Flags of other countries are not to be flown beneath the USA Flag.
If your flag is significantly faded, torn or tattered it is time to retire your flag. Your flag should be retired privately in a dignified manner. In addition, many local community organizations have flag disposal centers that will dispose of your flag for you.
Exactly what you are expecting.
Very pleased with my purchase. Several compliments on my Massachusetts flag from passersby.
I love it. Even though I’m in Calif now, Oklahoma is still my home. The flag is beautiful.