Thursday, May 16, 2013

Minnesota: The Northern Star

The 1983 Minnesota state flag

The original 1893 Minnesota state flag was uncommon for many reasons, not least is the fact that its design, an embroidered version, won a gold medal at the 1893 Columbia Exposition, otherwise known as the Chicago World's Fair.

The 1957 Minnesota flag
The flag's design was simplified and corrected in 1957. Originally, the flag was white on one side and blue on the other. In 1957, the flag's background was changed to a blue field on both sides. This had the result of being easier to manufacture and, thus, was less expensive. 

The flag's central shield design was refined a little further in 1983 but as the changes are largely decorative (blue, not white water, etc.) they were made without a bill. Though this version of the flag is the most recent, technically, the 1983 flag is not "official".
The real lady slipper!
The flowers that are part of the original design are a version of a red and white wild orchid, a lady slipper, but of a variety that is not native to Minnesota. To correct this, the flower was replaced with the native pink and white version in 1957. (See illustration.)

The flag consists of a medium blue field with the state seal in the center of the flag surrounded by a white ring encircled in gold. Inside the white ring are 5 groupings of stars which total 19 for Minnesota being the 19th state. The state's name is in red at the bottom of the white ring.

Inside the white and gold rings is a leafy garland of lady slippers and a shield with the legend, L'Etoile Nord or North Star, in French across the shield's sky. The interior of the shield depicts a farmer and a Native American, plus fields, forests, water and distant hills.

Also inside this inner circle are three dates: 1819, 1858 and 1893. They represent, respectively, the settling of the territory with Fort Snelling, the date of statehood, and the date the state flag was adopted.
The Minnesota state flag: Let it fly!
Let it fly! 
sources used:
The Origin of the Minnesota State Flag (Becker)


1 comment:

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