Nevada was designated the official state tartan of Nevada in 2001. Designed by Richard Zygmunt Pawlowski, the colors and pattern of the Nevada tartan represent the geography and natural wonders of the state:
Blue - represents one of the state colors of Nevada, the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe and the mountain bluebird, the official state bird.
Silver - represents the other state color, the official state mineral, the granite composition of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the silver country of northern Nevada;
Red - represents the Virgin Valley black fire opal, the official state precious gemstone, and the red rock formations of southern Nevada;
Yellow - represents sagebrush, the official state flower, and symbolizes the great basin region of central Nevada;
White - represents the name of this state meaning snow-covered, which is the translation of the Spanish word "Nevada",
The crossing of the yellow and red stripes represents the different colors of Nevada sandstone, the official state rock;
The white intersection on the silver field stands for the snow-capped peaks of granite mountains, which make up the Sierra Nevada mountain range;
The four blue lines represent the four main rivers of Nevada which are the Colorado Ricer, Truckee River, Humboldt River and Walker River;
The intersecting blue lines in the silver field represent the Colorado River as it meets Hoover Dam and creates Lake Mead;
The small solid 'boxes' of silver and blue number 8 by 8, or 64, to signify the year (1864) that Nevada was admitted into statehood;
The 13 solid-colored intersections of the small stripes represent Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada, which stands at an elevation of 13, 143 feet; and
The 16 solid silver intersections and the solid white intersection in the center of the tartan represent the 16 counties and the one consolidated city-county government of Nevada.
In old Scotland, the tartan was used for clothing and as a banner or flag. Because a family or community worked the cloth together, their clothing was made of the same patterns, and so a person could be recognized by the Tartan plaid that he wore. Tartans can also be designed as a symbol commemorating a special event or person.
Description from Nevada First Lady Dawn Gibbons website (no longer active).