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I Found It In the Archives: Ohio State Flag Patent

The Ohio state flag is unique and full of symbolism. It first flew on the Ohio building at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, New York where President William McKinley was assassinated. It was designed and patented by the architect of the Ohio building, John Eisenmann of Cleveland. He gave it to the State of Ohio in April 1902 when a bill introduced by Speaker of the House W.S. McKinnon was enacted to make it the state flag. It is the only non-rectangular state flag. Triangles formed by the main lines represent Ohio’s hills and valleys, stripes represent Ohio’s roads and waterways, stars indicate the thirteen original states of the Union and are grouped around a circle or O, which symbolizes the Northwest Territory. The four stars on the other side of the O denote that Ohio was the fourth new state to enter the Union. The original patented design is held by the Ohio History Connection in State Archives Series 1901.