Happy Birthday Minnesota! Today 154 years ago the Great State of 10,000 lakes joined the Union as the 32nd state.
On May 11, 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state in the United States. Europeans first arrived in the north central part of the United States in the 1600’s to explore the area and created trading relationships with Native Americans. In the 1800’s, the state’s ample forests and grasslands were exploited for lumbering and grain milling, causing much conflict between settlers and Native Americans.
The eastern part of Minnesota’s land was acquired by the United States from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War, and later acquired the western part of the state from France in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.
The first flag of Minnesota was adopted in 1893 and was designed by the Amelia Hyde Center of Minneapolis. The flag was white on one side and light blue on the other; it included the state seal encircled with white moccasin flowers, with a red ribbon including the motto L’étoile du nord (French for “The North Star”). The state’s first flag also included the years 1819, 1858, and 1893, which stood for the establishment of Fort Snelling, statehood, and the adoption of the first flag, respectively, in gold around the state seal. The flag also included 19 gold stars arranged in clusters around the seal to signify that it was the 32nd state of the union, as well as 87 gold circles representing the each county in Minnesota.
In 1957, the flag was redesigned to include blue on both sides, eliminating the white background for manufacturing and durability reasons. The redesigned flag also corrected to include the appropriate state flower – the Lady Slipper – instead of the moccasin flowers.