Arms of the State
First adopted in 1882 - The arms of the state are a golden anchor on a blue field, and the motto thereof is the word "Hope".
First adopted in 1877 - The flag of the state shall be white, five feet and six inches fly and four feet and ten inches deep on the pike, bearing on each side in the center a gold anchor, twenty-two inches high, and underneath it a blue ribbon twenty-four inches long and five inches wide, or in these proportions, with the motto "Hope" in golden letters thereon, the whole surrounded by thirteen 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, not including the spearhead.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Rhode Island State Flag
I pledge allegiance to our State Flag, and to the Republic of which Rhode Island forms a part; one Union inseparable, with honor and reverence for both State and Nation.
Source: Second Annual Program for Patriotic Exercises In Schools, May Fourth, 1910. The Commissioner of Public Schools, Rhode Island Department of Education, 1910.
There is no official documentation from the time when Rhode Island first adopted the word "Hope" on its Seal and flag that explains why this word was chosen. The Rhode Island General Assembly first adopted a Seal for the colony containing an anchor with the word "Hope" above it on May 4, 1664. The most coherent explanation as to the use of "Hope" comes from the historical notes of Howard M. Chapin published in Illustrations Of The Seals, Arms And Flags Of Rhode Island, printed by the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1930. On pages 4 and 5, Mr. Chapin wrote that the words and emblems on the Seal were probably inspired by the biblical phrase "hope we have as an anchor of the soul", contained in Hebrews, Chapter 6, verses 18 and 19.