Today is the State of New Jersey’s 220th birthday. New Jersey was the third state to sign the United States Constitution, on December 18, 1787. New Jersey’s official state flag was adopted on March 26, 1896.
The flag has a buff (light yellow-brown) background, a color chosen because it was one of the colors selected by General George Washington in 1779 for the uniforms of his New Jersey Continental Line.
A portion of the state seal (designed by Pierre Eugene de Simitiere in 1777) is in the center. In the center is a blue shield with three plows in it. On the sides of the shield are the goddess of liberty (holding a staff and the cap of freedom) and the goddess of agriculture (holding a cornucopia filled with food).
Above this is the head armor of a knight, a horse’s head, and blue filigrees. Below are the words “LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY” and the date “1776.” The goddesses symbolize liberty and prosperity.
Nine states ratified the Constitution in December
December is a busy month for state birthdays. Nine states ratified the Constitution in December, beginning with our “first” state—Delaware, which was admitted to the Union on December 7, 1787.
Other “December” birthdays are:
Pennsylvania—December 12, 1787
New Jersey—December 18, 1787
Indiana—December 11, 1816
Mississippi—December 10, 1817
Illinois—December 3, 1818
Alabama—December 14, 1819
Texas—December 29, 1845
Iowa—December 28, 1846