We are nearing the end of our “State Flags through the Decades” series. We’ve had more than our fair share of state seal flags, a few red white and blue designs and a handful of non-blue flags. With just only the 1990’s to present, what will we find as we enter the last 40 years of state flags? A bit of the same? Maybe a surprise or two? Let’s find out.
The flag of Massachusetts features the states coat of arms in the center of a white flag. Inside the shield is an Algonquian Native American with a bow and arrow. The arrow points down as a symbol of peace. The white star to the left of the figure’s head stands for Massachusetts being the sixth state in the United States. The blue ribbon swept around the shield holds the state motto Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem (“By the Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Libery”). Above the shield is the state’s military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft. The swards blade up reminds us that through the American Revolution, liberty was won.
The Montana flag is the Montanan state seal on a blue field. The shield itself contains a plow, shovel, and pick which rest in front of the Great Falls of the Missouri River. The ribbon at the bottom of the shield reads, “Oro y plata” which is Spanish for “Gold and silver”. Though this flag was originally adopted in 1905, the word Montana was added in 1981.
The Wisconsin state flag is again another blue flag with the state seal on it. The state motto flies in a banner above the seal reading “Forward”. Underneath is the state animal, a badger. Inside the shield is plow (agriculture), pick and shovel (mining), arm and hammer (manufacturing) and an anchor (navigation). The shield is flanked by a sailor and a yeoman to represent labor on land and water. Underneath the shield is a cornucopia to represent prosperity and abundance and 13 lead ingots representing mineral wealth and the 13 original states in the Union.
The Minnesota state flag holds the state seal on a medium blue flag. The inner circle is surrounded by 19 fivepoint stars to show Minnesota as the 19th state in the union. Shown inside the seal is a bare-footed farmer plowing a field. The farmers axe, gun and powder horn rest on a stump. In the background an Indian rides by. The shield is surrounded by intertwined pink and white lady slippers (the state flower) and a red ribbon. At the top of the ribbon are the words “L’etoile Du Nord (Star of the North), the states motto. The dates flanking the motto are 1819, the year Forth Snelling was established and 1893, the year the original flag was adopted.
What a surprise, all state seals! Just one more post to finish off the state flags. Do you think next week will finish up with even more state seals? We wouldn’t be surprised. Until next time, My Friends.