The flag of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is white and consists of a gold anchor in the center (a symbol for hope) surrounded by thirteen gold stars (for the original 13 colonies and Rhode Island's status as the 13th state to ratify the Constitution). A blue ribbon below the anchor bears the state's motto in gold: "HOPE." The flag is frequently depicted with golden fringe around the edges of the flag.
The flag of the state of Rhode Island as it presently exists was formally adopted in 1897. As early as the 1640s, the anchor and "hope" were found on the Rhode Island Seal, and the seal's words and emblems were likely inspired by the biblical phrase "hope we have as an anchor of the soul," found in Hebrews, Verse 6:18-19. Rhode Island's earliest colonists were fleeing religious persecution in Massachusetts due to their Christian beliefs.
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantantions enacted legislation making this the official flag:
§ 42-4-3 State flag. – The flag of the state shall be white, five feet and six inches (5'6") fly and four feet and ten inches (4'10") deep on the pike, bearing on each side in the center a gold anchor, twenty-two inches (22") high, and underneath it a blue ribbon twenty-four inches (24") long and five inches (5") wide, or in these proportions, with the motto "Hope" in golden letters thereon, the whole surrounded by thirteen (13) golden stars in a circle. The flag shall be edged with yellow fringe. The pike shall be surmounted by a spearhead and the length of the pike shall be nine feet (9'), not including the spearhead.