design by Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver was
adopted as the official Missouri State Flag on
March 22, 1913, almost 92 years after Missouri
became the 24th state to join the union.
design was for a rectangular flag, consisting of
three horizontal red, white and blue stripes.
These stripes represent valor, purity and
vigilance and justice. A circle is centered on
the flag surrounded by a band of blue enclosing
the Missouri Coat of Arms on a white background.
The blue band displays 24 white five-pointed
stars representing Missouri as the 24th state.
of the Missouri Coat of Arms shows, on the
right, a Bald Eagle grasping the olive branches
of peace and the arrows of war in its talons.
This represents the strength and powers of the
Federal Government. On the left side of the
shield, the state side, is a grizzly bear and a
crescent moon. The grizzly bear symbolizes the
strength and bravery of the citizens of the
state. The crescent moon symbolizes the state of
Missouri at the time of its induction into the
union; a state with a small population and
wealth and huge potential. The crescent moon
also symbolizes the "second son." Missouri was
the second state to be carved from the territory
acquired with the Louisiana Purchase. The shield
is encircled by a belt inscribed "United we
stand, divided we fall" indicating the advantage
of the union of the United States.
more grizzly bears, one on each side of the
shield, echo the bravery and strength of the
state's citizens. They are standing on a scroll
displaying the Missouri State Motto, "Salus
Populi Suprema Lex Esto" (Let the welfare of the
people be the supreme law). Below the scroll are
the Roman Numerals for 1820, the year that
Missouri became a member of the United States.
the shield a helmut is depicted, representing
Missouri as a sovereign state. A large star
surrounded by 23 smaller stars signifies
Missouri's status as the 24th state. A cloud
around the large star represents the
difficulties that Missouri endured on its way to
want more information on the State Flags of the
United States, you might want to check
How Proudly They Wave: Flags of the Fifty States by Rita D. Haban. This book is
geared toward kids... and for adults like me who
want to know about the history and design
significance of the flags of all fifty states
but can't find this information in an expensive