When Willie Kavanaugh Hocker first designed the official Arkansas state flag, it featured only three stars inside the diamond and did not bear the state’s name.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, the three stars represented:
1) That Arkansas had belonged to three countries—France, Spain, and the United States—before statehood
2) That 1803 was the year of the Louisiana Purchase, which included present-day Arkansas
3) That Arkansas was the third state created from the Louisiana Purchase.
The 25 outside stars symbolized that Arkansas was the 25th state admitted to the Union, and finally, the diamond shape marked Arkansas’s status as the nation’s only diamond-producing state.
Before being officially adopted in 1913, the state name was added and the three blue stars were rearranged, one placed above the name and two below.
The design remained unchanged for ten years until the General Assembly added a fourth star to represent Arkansas’s membership in the Confederate States of America.