The Design of the Missouri Flag

The Missouri flag, commonly known as the Missouri flag, serves as the official state flag of the United States state of Missouri.

The flag of Missouri is comprised of three horizontal tribands of equal size, including stripes in the colours of red, white, and blue. Positioned in the centre of the flag are the arms derived from the Great Seal of Missouri.

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How Do I Describe the History of the Missouri Flag?

Missouri Flag
<strong>Picture of the Missouri Flag<strong>

The official modification of the state flag’s design dates back to 1861. The present iteration of the system has the distinction of being the most extensively employed and has maintained its usage for a period exceeding 110 years.

The Missouri state flag was crafted and created in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, by Marie Elizabeth Oliver, the spouse of former State Senator R. B. Oliver.

In 1908, she initiated her flag project within the context of her volunteer work for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Her involvement with the DAR led to her appointment as head of the committee responsible for researching and designing Missouri’s flag. Oliver conducted thorough research on state flags.

The individual corresponded with the secretary of state of each state, seeking information regarding the design and official adoption processes of their respective state flags.

The initial design she created included the coat of arms of Missouri and was then transformed into a painted paper flag by her associate, Mary Kochitzky.

In 1908, the flag was transported to the Missouri State Capitol, where subsequent efforts were made to establish it as the official flag of Missouri.

Senator Arthur L. Oliver, who happened to be the nephew of the flag’s originator, submitted bills in 1909 and 1911 with the aim of adopting the flag as the state’s official emblem.

Neither of the bills succeeded in gaining approval in the House of Representatives.

The “Holcomb flag,” a rival flag design proposed by G.H. Holcomb, faced opposition primarily because of its striking resemblance to the flag of the United States and its failure to incorporate significant Missouri iconography.

The original paper flag created by Oliver was rendered inoperable due to the destruction caused by the fire that engulfed the Missouri State Capitol in 1911. In the presence of Mrs. S.D.

MacFarland, Oliver made an additional flag using silk material. The design created by her was officially accepted on March 22, 1913, with the signing of the Oliver Flag Bill by Governor Elliot Woolfolk Major.

The design of the flag has remained unaltered up until the present time. The silk flag was retained by Marie Oliver until the year 1961, at which point it was bestowed upon the state of Missouri by her son Allen.

The flag was exhibited until it commenced to disintegrate and thereafter placed in storage.

In the year 1988, Secretary of State Roy D. Blunt issued a challenge to primary students, urging them to engage in fundraising efforts aimed at the restoration of the flag.

The campaign yielded positive results, as seen by the subsequent display of the restored flag in the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center located in Jefferson City.


Read also: What Does the Alabama State Flag Symbolize?


How Do I Describe the Missouri Flag?

The flag is composed of three horizontal stripes in the colours red, white, and blue, bearing a resemblance to the flag of the Netherlands.

The aforementioned qualities symbolize courage, innocence, attentiveness, and fairness. The colours additionally symbolize the state’s historical affiliation with French Louisiana.

The central white stripe of the flag prominently features the seal of Missouri, which is encircled by a blue band adorned with 24 stars.

These stars serve as a symbolic representation of Missouri’s status as the 24th state to be admitted into the United States.

The seal also includes a constellation of 24 stars and integrates the Great Seal of the United States, which features an additional 13 stars. Consequently, the total number of stars on the flag amounts to 61.

The seal also incorporates the state motto, “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto,” which can be translated from Latin as “The well-being and welfare of the people should be regarded as the highest law.”

The flag is delineated in Section 010.020 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

There is a lack of documented instances of Missouri state flags being created on a large scale that adhere to the prescribed 7:12 proportions as stipulated by the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo).

The flag in question is one of two state flags in the United States that prominently displays an image of a bear, with the other state being California.

Additionally, the flag of this particular U.S. state is among a group of 10 state flags that prominently display an eagle.

The other states that share this distinction are Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming.

In the year 2001, a survey was conducted by the North American Vexillological Association among its members regarding the designs of the 72 flags representing the states and territories of the United States, as well as the provinces of Canada.

The Missouri flag was positioned in the lower quartile, specifically ranking 48th out of a total of 72 flags.


Read also: How Did the Michigan Flag Come Into Being?


What Does the Missouri Flag Symbolise?

The Oliver flag served as a symbol of both national pride and the unique qualities associated with Missouri and its residents.

The symbolism of the three prominent stripes of the state’s flag can be interpreted as follows: the blue stripe signifies qualities of vigilance, permanency, and justice; the red stripe represents valour; and the white stripe symbolizes purity.

The Missouri coat-of-arms is prominently displayed at the middle of the flag, symbolizing the state’s autonomy as a constituent entity, while also representing its inclusion within the broader United States.

The placement of the coat of arms within the national colours symbolizes Missouri’s position as the geographic centre of the United States.

The flag symbolises the harmonious relationship between the state coat of arms and the national colours of red, white, and blue through their combination.

The coat of arms of Missouri is adorned with a total of twenty-four stars, symbolizing the state’s status as the twenty-fourth entity to be admitted into the Union.

The Great Seal of the State of Missouri, which serves as the foundation for the coat-of-arms, possesses numerous significant connotations.

The individual responsible for the design of the aforementioned entity was Robert Wells, a legal professional who had also served as a state senator and judge.

The emblem of Missouri, as depicted by its helmet and buckled belt, signifies the state’s desire for autonomy in addressing its internal affairs, while concurrently reflecting its inherent strength.

The grizzly bears symbolize the magnitude and robustness of the state, as well as the bravery exhibited by its inhabitants.

The addition of the new crescent moon serves as a symbolic reminder of the potential for improvement in our future.

Furthermore, it functions as a distinctive heraldic emblem, highlighting the fact that Missouri was the second state to emerge from the territorial acquisition known as the Louisiana Purchase.

The inclusion of a larger star amidst a constellation of 23 stars serves as a symbolic representation intended to evoke the collective memory of Missouri’s historical journey towards statehood as the 24th state.

This visual element serves as a reminder of the arduous challenges that were successfully overcome in order to achieve this significant milestone.

The helmet was specifically crafted to symbolize and demonstrate the collective strength and authority of the state’s populace.

Lastly, there exist two mottoes. The phrase “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” emphasizes the significance of fostering solidarity and unity in order to ensure the collective strength and resilience of the United States.

The phrase “Salus populi suprema lex esto” originates from Latin and can be translated as “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.”

This serves as a reminder that the primary purpose of our state government is to facilitate improvements in our quality of life.


Read also: How Was the Washington State Flag Founded?



Allen Oliver presented the original flag belonging to his mother to the State of Missouri.

The flag was publicly exhibited until its structural integrity deteriorated over time, resulting in splitting and tearing. Consequently, it was subsequently relocated to a secure storage vault.

In the year 1988, Secretary of State Roy Blunt issued a challenge to elementary children in Missouri, urging them to contribute towards the restoration of the flag, coinciding with its 75th anniversary.

The restoration of the flag has been successfully accomplished by the students, and it is currently being shown in the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center located in Jefferson City.



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