Plus, a final call for your best Tampa Bay photos.
 
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🌴 A Sunshine State of mind
The Florida flag
Adopted in 1868, our flag’s history is much older.|Photo via Wikimedia Commons
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a flag is a whole textbook.

Our state flag is a record of Florida history that experts read like a secret code. Every part carries some meaning, from hoist to fly end.

The saltire

The red “X” on Florida’s flag is called a “saltire,” or St. Andrew’s Cross. It echoes heraldry dating back to the 15th century.

Some historians point out that Florida’s saltire may represent an attempt to restore Confederate symbolism in the state flag. Whether or not that’s the case, the Cross of Burgundy (a sawtooth saltire) flew over Spain’s Florida colonies — the first permanent colonial settlements in what would become the US.

The seal

Florida’s state seal has emblazoned the front of the flag since 1868, with revisions. Changes over the years corrected errors in the landscape — replacing cocoa trees with palmettos, for example — and in properly representing the Seminole woman scattering flowers.

The colors

Color meanings change across history as old as Florida’s. For example, our field of white is a symbol of French royalty, not purity like in the US flag. Practical concerns also influenced the current design: without the saltire, our flag looked like a white flag of surrender when hung limp.

With so much to consider, it’s no wonder a flag proposed in 1845 depicted blue, gold, red, white, and green stripes, and a banner reading “Let Us Alone.”
 
 
Events
 
Tuesday, May 28
  • Zumba in the Park | Tuesday, May 28 | 6-7 p.m. | Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa | Free | It’s your last chance to get a sweat on by the Hillsborough River at this class combining exercise and dance.
  • Rays vs. Athletics | Tuesday, May 28-Thursday, May 30 | Times vary | Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg | $10+ | Cheer on the boys at the Trop as they face a trio of games against the Oakland team.
  • “The Great State of West Florida” | Tuesday, May 28 | 7-8 p.m. | Tombolo Books, 2153 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg | Free with reservation | Join author Kent Wascom as he discusses his coming-of-age Sunshine State-based western.
Wednesday, May 29
  • Mike Birbiglia: “Please Stop the Ride” | Wednesday, May 29 | 7 p.m. | Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st St. S., St. Petersburg | $43+ | Get ready to enjoy some laughs at the American actor + comedian takes the stage in the Burg.
  • Taylor Swift Trivia Night | Wednesday, May 29 | 7:30-10:00 p.m. | MacDinton’s Irish Pub, 405 S. Howard Ave., Tampa | Free entry | This quiz isn’t “So High School” — test your knowledge of all things T-Swift.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Outdoors
  • Several outdoor pools opened for the season recently. Splash around at spots like Copeland Pool, Interbay Pool, and Spicola Family Pool. See the full list. (WFLA)
Closed
  • Even street markets need a break. Mezzo Market is closed for the summer. Despair not — the seasonal market on Baum Avenue returns in October.
Ranked
Asked
  • Calling those with a photographic eye. As National Photography Month draws to an end, we’re looking for your best photos of the Tampa Bay area. Send them in and we’ll share our faves in a future newsletter.
Eat
  • Forks at the ready. Dessert Wars returns to the Florida State Fairgrounds this Saturday, June 1. That’s when 50+ vendors will serve up a range of sugary goodness. Tickets start at $50. (That’s So Tampa)
Finance
  • If you spent your whole Sunday reorganizing your closet, here’s another spring cleaning suggestion: Move your credit card debt. This card offers 0% interest on a balance transfer until nearly 2026. That’s almost two years to pay off your balance, sans interest. Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back on purchases.*
     
     
    The Buy
     
    A Going membership, so you’ll get emailed when flights are 40-90% off — like a $166 flight to Cancun or a $260 flight to Paris (yes, those prices are legit). We like the two-week free trial of the Premium plan, which includes international flight deals and custom destination alerts.
     
     
    The Wrap
     
    Patrick Sidwell.jpeg Today’s edition by:
    Patrick
    From the editor
    With the rain on its way, you’re not the only one who needs to prepare. Of course I love my two pups, but I can do without the smell of wet dog in my house thank you very much.

    We’ve always got rain jackets at the ready in this house — and Fido can stay dry in style too.
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