June, 1896: Tennessee is celebrating their centennial anniversary of admission into the union.
At which point somebody (prolly with a decent amount of Jack in them) points out that the state, older than anybody's granddaddy, doesn't yet have a flag. And with speed unseen since, the politicians and designers figured something out and had it flying within ten months. Three bars for the Grand Divisions, one 16 for the numerical position of the state. Celebration commenced, more Jack.
Somehow, the flag disappeared. We've volunteered to bring it back.