Missouri Flag History
Adopted: March 1913
Missouri Flag Design: A horizontal tricolor of red, white, and blue. The Missouri Seal, surrounded by a blue band and stars, is superimposed in the field center.
Designed by Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver
For nearly a century after achieving statehood, Missouri did not have an official flag. The idea for a flag originated in 1908 when the Daughters of the American Revolution formed a committee to look into designing a state flag. The head of the committee was Mrs. Marie Elizabeth Oliver, wife of Senator Robert Burett Oliver, and a resident of Cape Girardeau. Mrs. Oliver eventually designed the flag herself, and on March 17, 1909, a bill supporting the design was introduced to the Missouri Senate.
It turned out that Mrs. Oliver's design was not the only one being considered by the General Assembly—a second design had been introduced by Dr. N.R. Holcomb. The "Holcomb flag" was opposed by many who felt it resembled too closely the United States flag, and did not symbolize much of Missouri itself. His design did not contain the coat of arms and included nothing that indicated state sovereignty.
Mrs. Oliver's design showed originality, and though simply designed, contained many messages. It took three years and several attempts before the bill for the "Oliver flag" was finally passed. On March 22, 1913, Governor Elliot Major signed the bill into law and made the Oliver flag the official state flag of Missouri.
Missouri Flag's Meaning
The Oliver flag embraced national pride, and at the same time expressed characteristics of Missouri and Missourians. The three large stripes were symbolic of the people of the state—the blue stripe represented vigilance, permanency, and justice, the red represented valor, and the white stripe symbolized purity. The Missouri coat-of-arms appeared in the center of the flag, signifying both Missouri's independence as a state, and its place as a part of the whole United States. Having the coat-of-arms in the center of the national colors represents Missouri, as she is—the geographical center of the nation. By mingling the state coat-of-arms with the national colors of red, white, and blue, the flag signified the harmony existing between the two. Twenty-four stars surrounded the coat-of-arms, representative of Missouri's position as the 24th state admitted to the Union.
The Great Seal of the State of Missouri, the basis of the coat-of-arms, has many special meanings of its own. Robert Wells, who was a lawyer, state legislator, and judge, designed it. The seal shows, by its helmet and buckled belt, that although Missouri is a strong state, it wants to be free to handle its own problems. The grizzly bears signify the size and strength of the state and the courage of her people. The new crescent moon was included to remind us that we can make our future better; it was also a special heraldic symbol pointing out that Missouri was the second state formed out of the Louisiana Purchase. The larger star, rising into a group of 23 stars, was to remind people that Missouri became the 24th state only after solving many difficult problems. The helmet was designed to show the power of the people of the state. Finally, there are two mottoes. "United We Stand, Divided We Fall," tells us how important it is to support the whole United States. "Salus populi suprema lex esto" is Latin which means, "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law." That reminds us our state government functions to help better our lives.
The Missouri Flag Is Restored
In 1961, Allen Oliver gave the State of Missouri his mother's original flag. It was on public display until the flag began to split and tear due to age, at which point it was put into a storage vault. In 1988, on the flag's 75th birthday, Secretary of State Roy Blunt challenged Missouri elementary students to help raise funds to restore the flag. Thanks to these students, the flag has been restored and is on display at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center in Jefferson City.
NOT ALL MISSOURI STATE FLAGS ARE THE SAME!
Extra care is taken in making these flags. Flag designs are researched to ensure that they are authentic and current. We use sturdy fabrics, allowing the flags to be flown outdoors, indoors, or carried in parades.
Constructed with 100% Heavy Duty Nylon (digital dyed) ★ Beautiful, brilliant colors ★ Resistant to wear and tear of sun & rain ★ Complete with heavy canvas heading & brass grommets to meet the most demanding commercial and residential uses.
- All outdoor flags are finished with heavy-duty thread, polyester heading, brass grommets, and four needle fly hem
- State flags constructed to precise specifications
- Flies in the slightest breeze
- Proudly Made in the USA
- Beautiful Presentation - This Missouri Flag makes an excellent gift for friends, parents, or to PROUDLY display on your HOME or OFFICE.
HEAVY-DUTY NYLON OUTDOOR STATE FLAGS WITH SOLAR SHIELD
Our most popular and versatile outdoor Missouri flag, USA Flag Co. flags offer the optimum combination of elegance and durability for every purpose. The 100% nylon material provides a rich, lustrous appearance. Our flags have superb wearing strength due to the material’s superior strength-to-weight ratio and will fly in the slightest breeze. State flags are finished with strong, polyester canvas headings and spurred brass grommets, and four needle fly hem. The result is a flag that will be flown with pride year after year.
- Rich, Vivid Colors
- Mildew Resistant
- Sheds Water
- Lightweight for Flyability
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Frequently Asked Questions
This is the most common question asked in the industry and the most difficult to answer. No two flags will wear the same due to weather conditions and how often the flag is flown. Our flags offer the best stitching and highest quality materials to get your flag off to a great start.
Do not hang a flag where the wind will whip it against rough surface, such as tree branches, wires or cables or the outside of your home or building. Inspect your flags regularly for signs of wear. Repair any minor rips or tears right away this can be mended easily with a sewing machine or sewing kit. Keep the surface of the pole free of dirt, rust or corrosion that could damage or stain your flag.
We recommend that you hand-wash your flag with mild soap, rinse thoroughly and air dry. You can also use a dry cleaning service.
Exposing your flag to rain, wind, snow or high winds will shorten the life of your flag considerably. If you leave your flag exposed to the elements, it will greatly reduce the life of your flag.
Yes, as long as your pole is large enough to support the weight of the flags. The USA Flag must always fly at the top. The flag underneath should be at least one foot lower and be one size smaller than the USA Flag. Flags of other countries are not to be flown beneath the USA Flag.
If your flag is significantly faded, torn or tattered it is time to retire your flag. Your flag should be retired privately in a dignified manner. In addition, many local community organizations have flag disposal centers that will dispose of your flag for you.
Exactly what you are expecting.
Very pleased with my purchase. Several compliments on my Massachusetts flag from passersby.
I love it. Even though I’m in Calif now, Oklahoma is still my home. The flag is beautiful.