The state flag of New Hampshire is the state seal on a blue background. The state seal is surrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves with nine stars interspersed. The nine stars represent the 9th state to be admitted to the union. The wreath is an ancient symbol of fame, honor, and victory. The blue background on the state flag is said to represent the state seal floating on water. In the center of the seal is a ship which is the USS Raleigh. It was one of the 3 warships sponsored by the Continental Congress for a new American navy, built in 1776, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.