State Flags Through The Decades: The 1910’s

On this week’s “State Flags through the Decades”, we review the design of the 1910’s when Arizona, California, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Montana’s flags were made.

In recent blogs, we’ve noticed a shift from red, white and blue flags to state seals and motto’s. What will this week’s review reveal about flags during the 1910’s?

California – 1911


The California State flag was adopted in 1911. It is one of four state flags without the color blue on it. The flag holds a bear on a strip of grass with “California Republic” underneath .There is a star to the upper left and a red stripe on the bottom. The bear was modeled after “Monarch” a California grizzly bear held in captivity. The star stands for the California Lone Star representing a free and sovereign state.

Michigan – 1911


The Michigan state flag has the state’s coat of arms on a field of dark blue. The coat is a light blue shield supported by an elk and moose. There is a bald eagle atop the shield representing the United States. Inside the shield is a sun rising over a lake with a man raising this hand to represent peace and in the other hand, a long gun for the fight for state and nation as a frontier state. There are three Latin mottos. From top to bottom they are: “E Pluribus Unum”(out of many, one), “Tuebor” (I will defend) and“Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice” (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you), the official state motto.

Delaware – 1911


The state flag of Delaware has a dull yellow colored diamond on a field of colonial blue with the Delaware coat of arms inside the diamond. The date December 7, 1787, below the diamond, declares the day Delaware became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. The colors of the flag imitate the uniform of General George Washington. The coat of arms has a shield lined with blue, white and green stripes. The stripes are topped with a sheaf of wheat and an ear of corn; on the white stripe stands on ox on the green stripe (grass). All of these symbols represent Delaware’s agriculture.

Missouri – 1913


The Missouri state flag is a red, white and blue flag with a Missouri state seal in the center. The red and white stripes represent valor and purity and the blue means three things: the permanency, vigilance and justice of the state. The seal is circled with 24 stars symbolizing Missouri as the 24th state admitted into the United States. The seal is quite possibly the busiest you have ever seen with several mottos, two grizzly bears, a crescent moon and many more. Check out our blog next week on the Missouri flag to learn more about the state seal… Link coming soon!

Arizona – 1917


The Arizona state flag was adopted in 1917 and consists of 13 rays of red and yellow in the top half representing the 13 original states. The red and yellow symbolize Arizona’s picturesque sunsets. The copper star stands for the copper mining industry in Arizona and the blue on the bottom half of the flag represents the Colorado River.

Indiana – 1917


This was the state’s first official flag, adopted in 1917. The flag is centered with a gold torch representing liberty and enlightenment. There are rays around the torch that stand for the states far-reaching influence. There are 19 stars as Indiana was the 19th state to join the United States. The creator of the flag was Paul Hadley from Mooresville, Indiana who was one of over 200 people to submit designs.

Kentucky – 1918


The Kentucky state flag was adopted in 1918 and holds the commonwealth seal on a navy blue field. On the seal is an image of a pioneer and statesman embracing. The men represent all frontiersmen and statesmen and the motto: “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. The motto comes from the lyrics of “The Liberty Song” from the American Revolution era. Below the seal are sprigs of goldenrod, the state flower.

So, what did we see during the 1910’s in state flags? State motto’s, another red, white and blue flags and coat of arms are still consistent. Let’s make a list of what we have so far:

Red, white and blue flags: IIIII

Coat of arms: IIII

Civil War Inspiration: II


As you can see, so far our flags rely heavily on state motto’s and red white and blue designs. The rare are those that have no blue and do not contain a motto or state seal. What will next week’s flags hold for us?

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