The Hampton Roads regional flag was created in 1998 in a highly public process sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Hampton Roads Partnership. From more than 1,000 designs submitted by high school students in a regional contest, three finalists were chosen and were voted on by the general public through the media.
The gateway to Southeastern Virginia, Hampton Roads includes among its sixteen municipalities, symbolized by the flag’s stars, cities such as Norfolk, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Southampton Roadstead, the original name of Hampton Roads was given in the early 1600s by the royal governor in honor of Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. The nautical term roadstead, meaning a safe anchorage, calls to mind the area’s great history as a naval base, port, and center of shipbuilding. Hampton Roads famous museums and performing groups make Hampton Roads the arts capital of Virginia, along with its research facilities in aerospace, particle physics, and oceanography, together with tourism, higher education, health care, and high tech manufacturing, characterize the area’s modern economy. The Hampton Roads flag is the first flag ever created for a metropolitan region of the United States.
Symbolism of the flag:
- The blue panel predominantly suggests maritime and naval character of the Hampton Roads region, which is the nation’s primary naval base on the Eastern Seaboard, the East Coast’s second largest seaport, and the country’s primary center of shipbuilding and ship repair.
- The green panel stands for the region’s land-based agriculture, industry, and arts.
- The white wavy line represents the sand and surf that help make the region one of the nation’s most visited tourist destinations--from Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown to Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum and the famous resort area at Virginia Beach.
- The sixteen white stars symbolize the region’s cities and counties. The circle shape the stars are displayed in signifies the classic symbol of unity, and they all point to the center to represent the aspiration for regional cooperation.
The flag as a whole was created to symbolize the sense of community shared by the region’s 1.7 million residents and its motto, “Hampton Roads—where Virginia meets the sea.”
The flag of Hampton Roads is a registered trademark of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Display the flag and show your regional pride. To purchase flag merchandise from the Chamber's exclusive vendor, visit www.aflagshop.com, or call 757.497.8947 ext. 104.