Minnesota State Flag
Meaning of the Flag
Like many other state flags in the U.S., Minnesota’s flag features the state’s official seal. The seal has many different elements that symbolize the state’s history. A Native American riding on horseback represents the state’s Native American heritage. A farmer plowing in a field represents the state’s reliance on agriculture. There are images of various tools, which were used for labor and hunting throughout history. There is also a tree stump that symbolizes the lumber industry. The river and waterfall in the image represent the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls, respectively. There are also three pine trees seen in the background, which represent the pine regions of Mississippi, Lake Superior and St. Croix. There are also 19 stars arranged around the seal, which represent Minnesota being the 19th state admitted to the Union. The design also incorporates pink and white lady slippers, the state flower of Minnesota.
Colors of the Flag
The main color used in Minnesota’s state flag is blue, which makes up the background. The state seal is located in the center of the flag and features many colors, including red, white, blue, and gold. Encircling the seal is a white circle trimmed in gold. Throughout this band are 19 gold five-pointed stars. The state’s name is found below the seal in red lettering.
History of the Flag
The idea of having a state flag came about when Minnesota planned to sponsor an exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The Women’s Auxiliary Board took to designing the flag. A contest was launched and about 200 entries were submitted. Amelia Hyde Center was chosen as the winner and won $15. Her design was white on one side and light blue on the other and featured the state seal surrounded by moccasin flowers. It also featured the state’s motto, “The Star of the North.” There were also dates on the flag, including the date that statehood was achieved, the date of the adoption of the flag, and the date that Fort Snelling was established. A flag based on this design was adopted in 1893.
In 1957, the flag was redesigned to eliminate the white side. Both sides were made to be royal blue. An error on the flowers of the seal was also corrected during this design. The flag was again changed in 1983 following changes to the state seal. The color of the flag was also changed from royal blue to medium blue. This flag was adopted on August 2, 1983 and is still in use today.
A petition was launched in 2017 to change the design of the flag. Saint Paul resident Guy Johnson claims that the flag’s design is original and laziness. As of 2018, the petition has only received 300 signatures.
A state statute requires the Secretary of State to keep a photo of the state flag as well as samples so that copies can be made.