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The Michigan State Flag

Michigan Governor Stevens T. Mason
Courtesy: University of Michigan

The current Michigan state flag is the third official state flag and was adopted by Public Act 209 in 1911. The first flag displayed a portrait of Michigan's first governor, Stevens Thomson Mason on one side and the state coat of arms on the other side. In 1865, this flag was changed. Stevens Mason's portrait was removed and the flag displayed the Michigan coat of arms on one side and the United States coat of arms on the other side, perhaps in response to the end of the civil war. Today the flag displays only the Michigan coat of arms on a field of blue.

Depicted on the shield is a lake with a yellow sun rising over the blue waters. A man is standing on a peninsula with one hand raised in a greeting of friendship and the other hand holding a rifle. An Elk and a Moose support the shield between them and a Bald Eagle grasping an olive branch and arrows in its talons is shown above the shield.

Michigan state flag
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Three mottos are shown on the coat of arms: E Pluribus Unum (From many, one), Tuebor (I will defend), and Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you). These mottos are reflected in the coat of arms pictorially. E Pluribus Unum, also our national motto, aligns with the depiction of the Bald Eagle. Tuebor is represented in the arrows clasped in the eagle's talons and the gun held in the man's left hand. Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice is supported by the warmth of the sun, the man's friendly greeting from the peninsula and the olive branches held by the Bald Eagle.

The Bald Eagle represents the United States and the Elk and Moose represent Michigan.

Michigan Flag Law

The following information was excerpted from the Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 2.


Source: Michigan Legislature, Michigan Compiled Laws, (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/), August 13, 2007.
Source: Flags of the Fifty States and Their Incredible Histories: The Complete Guide to America's Most Powerful Symbols by Randy Howe. The Lyons Press; First edition edition (November 1, 2002).
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001).
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971).


Additional Information

Michigan (U.S.): FOTW "Flags of the World" Web Site.

State Flags: Complete list of state flags with links to large pictures and images suitable for coloring.

Flag Terminology: The parts of a flag and terms associated with its design.

Visit Our Flag Shop: Purchase all kinds of flags and banners, lapel pins, 50 state flag sets, decals, patches, college banners at the Flag Shop.

Purchase Michigan State Flags: You may purchase quality state flags from the United States Flag Store.

Flags of the Fifty States and their Incredible Histories: A complete guide to America's most powerful symbols by Randy Howe.

How Proudly They Wave: Flags of the Fifty States: This book, by Rita D. Haban, is geared toward younger readers.

 
 
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