The Flag of The United States Virgin Islands

The flag of the United States Virgin Islands consists of a simplified version of the United States coat of arms - a white bald eagle holding a laurel branch in one talon and three arrows in the other, set against a white background. The eagle is displayed in front of a blue version of the Great Seal of the United States, but with the letters 'V' and 'I' on either side, representing the Virgin Islands. The eagle's chest is adorned with a shield of the United States, consisting of thirteen stripes in red and white. A blue field above the eagle contains the letters 'V' and 'I' in white.

The Flag of The United States Virgin Islands

History

The flag of the United States Virgin Islands was officially adopted on May 17, 1921. The islands, formerly the Danish West Indies, were purchased by the United States from Denmark in 1917 for strategic reasons related to the Panama Canal and to prevent their seizure by Germany during World War I. The design of the flag reflects the islands' new status as an American territory. The eagle, a symbol of the United States, holding the letters 'V' and 'I', symbolizes the unity between the islands and their new country. The laurel branch represents peace, and the three arrows signify the three major islands - Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Croix. The flag's adoption came as part of the efforts to establish a new identity for the islands under American sovereignty, while also paying homage to their history and the transition from Danish to American rule.