Typically governmental units do not copyright things of this nature. However, this does not mean that it is not protected. It could be protected by a non-governmental group or a business entity owned by the state. You need to get a copyright attorney who can clear your rights in this flag.
Probably not, but if you are going to use it in your business, you should have an IP attorney clear it as a Trademark and copyright.
Mr. Sack's postings on Avvo are of a general nature, based on the facts provided and are not intended to be taken as legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.
If we were talking about the federal government the answer, at least as it concerns copyright, would be much more straight forward as everything regards to the feds is in the public domain. Trademark is another matter.
But regards to individual states and as noted it is likely not protected under copyright law, but it may be.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail before making an investment. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
Assuming the design is also from the Civil War or older (say the war for independence from Mexico), any copyright likely expired. Trademark would be a different story.
This response is only general information and is not legal advice. It does not form an attorney-client relationship and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. You should seek a qualified attorney before taking any action related to your inquiry.
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