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Michigan State Flag History And Design

Written by
Rob Brittain
Published on
April 21, 2021 10:35:00 PM PDT April 21, 2021 10:35:00 PM PDTst, April 21, 2021 10:35:00 PM PDT

The History Behind the Michigan State Flag Design

Nicknamed “The Wolverine State,” Michigan was the 26th state to be admitted to the Union by an act of Congress on January 26, 1837. In January 2021, the state of Michigan celebrated its 184th birthday. The recent celebration of Michigan’s birthday is an ideal time to learn more about the history and the design of the state flag. 

Michigan’s current state flag design was approved by its legislature in 1911. Now flying for 110 years, the Michigan state flag features a solid, royal blue background and the state’s intricate coat of arms. Components of the Michigan coat of arms include:

  • A red ribbon that appears at the top of the coat of arms and bears the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum,” which means “Out of Many, One.” The Latin phrase is also the motto of the Great Seal of the United States, and it refers to how the 13 original U.S. colonies came together to form a union.
  • An eagle with spread wings that is centered beneath the red ribbon. In its talons, the eagle holds an olive branch and three arrows. The olive branch represents peace, the branch’s 13 olives represent the 13 original colonies of the United States, and the arrows represent the readiness of the United States to defend itself.
  • An image of an elk appears to the left of and immediately below the eagle, and the image of a moose appears to the right of and immediately below the eagle. The elk and the moose are representative of Michigan’s native wildlife.
  • A shield that is upheld by the elk and the moose. The Latin word “Tuebor,” which means “I Will Defend,” is positioned near the top of the shield. Beneath the shield’s Latin text is an image of the sun and its golden rays rising over a distant horizon. The foreground of the shield image includes a moving body of water and a man standing on a green, grassy area near the water’s edge. The man’s right hand is raised, which is a gesture of peace. In contrast, the man holds a rifle in his left hand, which suggests his readiness to defend his state and his nation as needed.
  • A white ribbon that is positioned at the bottom of the coat of arms design and bears the Latin phrase “Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice,” which means “If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You.”

Earlier versions of the Michigan state flag included:

  • An 1837 Design. Michigan’s first flag design was double-sided. On one side, it featured the state seal, along with images of a woman and a soldier. On the other side, it featured a portrait of Stevens T. Mason, Michigan’s first governor.
  • An 1865 Design. Michigan’s second state flag design was also double-sided. While one side was virtually identical to the 1911 state flag design, the second side featured the coat of arms of the United States.


Michigan Outdoor Flag Options

Today, you can celebrate “The Wolverine State” and its 184th birthday by displaying your own Michigan state flag. Carrot-Top Industries’ outdoor Michigan flags are made in the U.S.A. and come in two of Carrot-Top’s exclusive fabric brands: Patriarch® polyester and Beacon® nylon. These flags are expertly crafted with unsurpassed quality by the most experienced flag makers in the industry. Our flags feature fade-resistant colors, durable fabric and fray-resistant stitching. Both the Patriarch® polyester and the Beacon® nylon outdoor Michigan flags are digitally printed with a single reverse finish. Backed by the flag industry’s best six-month guarantee, we are committed to your satisfaction. Our guarantee covers any defects, fading or tearing, starting on the date of purchase. 

Our Patriarch® polyester Michigan flags are built with a super strong, two-ply polyester that has the texture and feel of cotton. These flags are best for coastal zone locations and areas that frequently experience severe winds. Our Patriarch® polyester Michigan flags are available in a variety of sizes from 3’ x 5’ to as large as 5’ x 8’. Our Beacon® nylon Michigan flags are tailored with tough, durable, lightweight nylon that dries quickly and waves beautifully in the air. These flags are designed for low and moderate wind areas and are available in sizes from 12” x 18” to 8’ x 12’.

Michigan outdoor flags, indoor flags, flag sets, flag banners and mini flags are available for order online. To determine the best outdoor flag material for your location and flagpole, please call 800-628-3524 to speak with a Customer Care Professional. You can also submit any questions about your flag order by email or schedule a convenient time for a consultation through Contact Our Team. We offer fast shipping on all of our in-stock products. 

Online References: Michigan.gov, Michigan Legislature, ourdocuments.gov and statesymbolsusa.com


Email us at marketing@carrot-top.com to share your comments or questions about this blog. You may also email us if you have a topic you would like us to cover or are interested in submitting an article as a guest writer.